Like many other fans of Kristen Heitzmann’s books, I looked forward to the release of this new novel, knowing she had ventured into new territory.
I was a little concerned when I heard that the content might not fit normal standards for Christian novels. Some believers may even read this book and take offense at some of the content.
However, I must say I admire her for taking this bold step. We live in a very broken world and as lovers of Jesus want to reach the lost. Books like this will help open that door that might have otherwise been closed.
For those of you that are concerned about the content and wondering whether to read it, there are a few mild swear words throughout. Alcohol is portrayed in the book in several different contexts, however never glorified.
Any other content in the book is also portrayed in light of characters’ poor choices with consequences to match and is not graphic.
That being said, the content in the book doesn’t even scratch the surface of what goes on in the world around us. I daresay it would be considered quite tame by worldly standards.
To give this book 4 out of 5 stars almost seems unfair. Kristen is brilliant in the way she paints with words and develops characters. I confess I sometimes need a dictionary with me when I read her books :-).
The story had me riveted all the way through to the end. I have not seen another author who portrays faith with the accessibility and level of excellence that she does.
Here are a few observations about the book. I expected the story to remain light-hearted, however it takes a fairly serious turn and continues to delve deeper into the brokenness of the two characters as they work through healing from their past and poor decisions. This did not bother me as it is characteristic of her other novels, however it makes for an inconsistent tone throughout the book.
The chemistry between the two main characters was intense and believable, however the character of Grace was not someone I found I could relate to well and it seemed her character was not portrayed consistently throughout the book. She seemed to act in ways in the second half of the book that were different from the way she is portrayed in the opening scene though perhaps it is due to events in her life.
There are time periods in the latter half of the book that were skimmed over quickly. I would like to have had more time to examine the goings on in their lives during those times.
The setting, the characters, the lives they lead, and the things that happen to them are all larger than life. There is much glitz, glamor, and bling to be had.
I believe Kristen has broken new ground with this book and my prayer is that other authors (known or unknown) will be bold enough to tread this path as well. If we want to reach the lost, we need to build bridges rather than live in bubbles. There are enough Christian authors out there that write fiction intended for a Christian audience to satisfy those who seek that type of book.
Dare to give this book a try and if it impacts you, dare to even gift it to people that need to hear a message about failings and forgiveness. There is a reason the main character’s name is “Grace”.
As I said, 4 out of 5 stars is being nitpicky. I still highly recommend this book and look forward to the sequel “Told You Twice”.
I would like to encourage you to purchase the printed book here. This is Kristen’s first foray into independent publishing and I think her novels are worth paying a little more to have the book in your hands. If you purchase the printed version, the Kindle version will be discounted to $1.99. (This is not an affiliate link as my website contains no advertising. This is just my humble opinion. :-).