Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Book Review: "Enduring Love" by Bonnie Leon

Just when things seem to be looking up for John and Hannah Bradshaw, their world is turned upside down. Years ago, John was in prison when he was told his first wife, Margaret, died. So how is it that she shows up in Sydney Town looking to pick up where they left off? Her marriage now null and void, Hannah is distraught. But she and John feel they must separate to allow John's first marriage to continue. But is Margaret hiding something after all? And just what will she do to get what she wants? This conclusion to the Sydney Cove trilogy will draw readers in with its suspenseful, romantic, and tender narrative.

Now that John and Hannah have been in New South Wales for several years, they've begun to build a life together. It was interesting to read about how they started off as convicts but have now managed to have their own farm, livestock and their past has become a distant memory. This story is not so much about Australia as it is about John and Hannah's relationship. Hannah is like a Job character as she is severely tested throughout the whole story. Anything bad that could happen to her, happened in this book. She handled things way better than I would have.

While I enjoyed the story, I did have several qualms while reading it. My main one is the entire storyline of the dead spouse coming back to life and ruining a marriage. I really don't like this storyline because it seems to come up a lot in Christian fiction and every single time it ends the same way. This case is no different. I cannot believe that not a single person questioned Margaret and was so readily to dismiss John and Hannah's marriage. It just seemed that everyone gave up too easily. I unfortunately did not like Hannah in this book. Any spunk or boldness she had in previous books seemed to disappear once Margaret showed up. She didn't try to fight for John, she just became a pushover. Even when she had suspicions she didn't want to pursue them and when she did find out the truth, it was only because of a friend's urging that she finally decided to do something. John is no help either as he immediately goes back to his first wife and just dismisses Hannah. There were several times throughout the book that I just wanted to scream at everyone. I will say though the ending was slightly unexpected and I am glad that it didn't end in the predictable way. I am sad that this is the last book in the series as I would have liked to see more of how the characters survive in their new surroundings. Stories about this time period and location are unique and these characters will be missed.

Enduring Love by Bonnie Leon is published by Revell (2009)

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