Thursday, December 28, 2017

Love Story: A Novel by Karen Kingsbury

Let’s begin with the summary:

Decades ago, John and Elizabeth Baxter lived a love story that is still playing out in the lives of their adult children and grandchildren. But few of them know the exact details of that story or the heartbreak that brought the two together.

Now in high school, Ashley Baxter Blake’s oldest son, Cole, must write a family history paper for a freshman English class. He decides to interview his grandfather about that long-ago love story.

John is hesitant, not sure if he can take the sorrow of reliving his love story with Elizabeth—especially now that he is remarried. But he agrees and allows his heart to go places it hasn’t gone in decades.

At the same time, Baxter family friend Cody Coleman is working through the breakup of his complicated relationship with Andi Ellison. He is determined to move on when a chance sighting changes his plans—and heart. Can Cody convince Andi to give their love another try, or is it time for them to say goodbye, for good?

As school ends, Cole presents his report on the love story between his grandparents John and Elizabeth Baxter. It is a tale that touches the hearts of the entire family, and one that causes Cole to better understand his own beginning.

And now, my review:

If you’ve followed Karen’s Baxter family series, this book will take you back to a time when the eldest Baxters met and fell in love. For die-hard fans, this is a potentially satisfying opportunity to learn more as they follow their favorite characters into the past. Their love story is relayed through a retelling of their history, which unfortunately, I found unengaging.

When the present-day activity picked back up, there were many redundancies as we circled back to information we already knew. The pacing failed as the plot stalled. If I were reviewing this book for a new author, I would guess that the writer was trying to find his/her way and rewrote information as self-reminders during the process of writing.

The adult heroine’s POV contained juvenile thoughts that didn’t seem fitting for her age, so it was difficult to believe her as a character and root for her as the heroine. Coupled with telling and redundancies, the distant POV kept me from experiencing the emotion of the characters. I recall feeling deep emotion while reading some of this author’s earlier work, but this book did not hold my interest. I also felt this character's spiritual statements were trite.

I have read some of the books in this series, and it was interesting to reconnect with these characters
like visiting family friends. Readers will enjoy that comforting aspect.

While this book wasn’t for me, I still wish the author and her publisher the best.

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