Sunday, May 29, 2011

Stuck in the Middle (Sister-to-Sister, Book 1) by Virginia Smith

"Her life was no longer stuck. Her Father had plans for her."

This book was free on my Kindle and I bought it awhile ago because it was a story about sisters. My sisters are the most important people in the world to me, and I always like books that rely on that special relationship.

At first, I didn't like Joan. While she is self-admittedly quiet and reserved she came across more timid and insecure than anything. I recognize that there are 25 year-olds that still live at home for a variety of reasons, but when they do so with no plans to venture into their own new phase of life at some point, it seems weird to me. For this reason, I didn't like Joan. I'm a fan of strong, independent female characters, and I didn't see that in her. However, I soon realized that this book was about the journey of self-discovery and by the end of the book I liked Joan more. Sure, she was still shy and quiet but no longer in an annoying way.

With that said, I think the bulk of my review is about the idea of this book. I started reading it without knowing it was what the author calls "God-honoring fiction." Had I known that, I'm sad to say that I probably would not have read the book. I'm a very religious person, my own beliefs shape the way I live life each day, but I don't often read religious books. Maybe that's bad to admit, but it's the truth. But that truth speaks to what this book is about. During the course of this book, Joan comes to understand religion and her relationship with God. Reading it helped me do the same. I'm grateful that I have always known the power of prayer, where Joan had to learn as an adult the ways in which God communicates with His children. In that regard, the book didn't teach me anything I didn't already know.

However, I saw a lot of myself in Joan (mainly the aspects of her personality I didn't like haha) like how she had been hurt before, how she was reluctant to let herself get close to people. I laughed out loud when I read, "With relief, she realized she had managed to mention Roger the Rat without wanting to spit. Maybe she was starting to get over her anger," having recently had a similar realization myself. I loved watching Joan's relationship with her mother improve, not recognizing until she was an adult that her mother's love had always been sincere and lasting, waiting for her to recognize and accept it. "New tears sprang to Joan's eyes. How many times had Mom said those words? At least a million. But never before had they fallen like absolution on Joan's aching heart."
And of course, I love Ken. What's not to love about a religious, young, handsome doctor with a dog that's as disobedient as my own? :)

This book isn't for everyone. There are a few eye-rolling moments when the sisters' interactions are a bit cliche or when things fall perfectly into place. But if you're looking for a feel-good book to lighten your spirit and reaffirm your faith, this is a good book for you.

No comments: