Friday, August 07, 2009
Book Review: "Home Another Way" by Christa Parrish
After her mother's death and her father's abandonment, tiny infant Sarah Graham was left to be raised by her emotionally distant grandmother. As a child she turned to music for solace and even gained entrance to Julliard. But her potentially brilliant music career ended with an unplanned pregnancy and the stillborn birth of her child.
In an attempt to escape the past, Sarah, now twenty-seven, is living life hard and fast--and she is flat broke. When her estranged father dies, she travels to the tiny mountain hamlet of Jonah, New York to claim her inheritance. Once there, she learns her father's will stipulates a six-month stay before she can receive the money. Fueled by hate and desperation, Sarah settles in for the bitter mountain winter, and as the weeks pass, she finds her life intertwining with the lives of the simple, gracious townsfolk. Can these strangers teach Sarah how to forgive and find peace.
A story of grace, of God's never-ceasing love and the sometimes flawed, faithful people He uses to bring His purpose to pass.
If you are someone that thinks that Christian fiction is always positive, with sunny, happy characters who are willing to drop everything to help out whoever walks by, you need to read this book. It will definitely change your mind about the genre. This book isn't your typical Christian fiction book. The town of Jonah, New York has been a safe haven for Sarah Graham's father and now after his death, it has become hers. I enjoyed reading about her becoming acquainted with the small town and its cast of characters. Also the discovery about the truth of the situation involving her parents is painful yet life changing for her. The chemistry between Sarah and Jack is really excellent, and I really liked his character.
Sarah is an extremely prickly character. Throughout almost the entire book, she is nothing but mean, snippy, rude and always trying to get a rise out of a person just for the fun of it. I understand where her hostility comes from. If I had to live the life she went through, with a mother killed by your father who then abandons you with a grandmother who tells you everyday you are worthless, I'd be angry and sullen too. However her attitude continues throughout the entire book and her continual rebuffs at those who try to help her make it very difficult to actually like her as a character. I found myself several times in the book wanting to yell at her to just listen to what the other person had to say before making snap judgments about them.
I did feel that the ending was rather abrupt and leaves the reader with a sense of incompleteness. I honestly felt that there could have been more, not necessarily a neat and tidy ending, but at least a little bit more closure than what we were given. It made me almost feel as if the time I invested in the book seem to have vanished almost immediately. I really liked the entire Watson family and would have liked more closure with them as well. That being said though, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It is not preachy at all and the storyline sucks you and keeps you wanting to read more. This is an absolutely wonderful debut novel and I am looking forward to reading future works from Christa Parrish. HIGHLY recommended.
Home Another Way by Christa Parrish is published by Bethany House (2008)