The fourth book in Karen Kingsbury's "Sunrise" series and the fourteenth and final book chronicling the Baxter family is a book of beginnings as well as endings. Woven throughout its pages are the recurring themes of the redeeming love and the unending faithfulness of God. Memories of times gone by meet with the changes of today in a story that proves that only the support of faith and family can take a person into the sunset years of life.
All good things must come to an end and it's time to finally bring to a close the Baxter Family Drama series. It's interesting enough that the word drama is used because that's pretty much has been happening throughout the series. It seems that anything and everything that could happen to the family does happen to them. It's quite a roller coaster ride with lots of dips, turns and loops from the first book all the way to this last one. In this book, we finally see the Baxters bring everything to a close. John has decided he wants to finally move on with his life and this includes a life with Elaine. Ashley has to deal with fears of another pregnancy. Luke and his wife must come to terms with their relationship. The family comes together to help out each other in times of need.
While I enjoyed the book, there just seems to be a little too much soap opera action for me. Affairs are discussed, marriages take place, pregnancies are happening, past relationships get brought up. Like I said, there's a lot of drama that happens to this family. It felt like all stories had to have happy and tidy ending but not without tear inducing moments. Now I myself never felt compelled to cry at all but I can see how some of these scenarios can force a few misty eyes while reading. I did feel though that everyone going into labor at the same time felt too coincidental to me.
Overall it's a satisfying read if you've been following the family since the original series. Everything you want to happen happens, and everyone is together again for the finale However don't fear that you'll never hear from the Baxters again. Kingsbury has already released another series, The Above the Line series, where the Baxters can be seen in the background. It's like a spin off of your favorite show with cameos from the characters. The Baxters will forever live on.
Sunset by Karen Kingsbury is published by Tyndale (2008)