Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Book Review: Tender Vow
Here is a summary from Sharlene MacLaren's Website: Michigan-born brothers John and Jason Evans take a ski trip to the Colorado Rockies, but only one comes home alive—John was tragically killed on a daring descent down Devil's Ridge, an infamously dangerous slope. In an attempt to soothe his guilt and grief, Jason sets out to make amends with his widowed sister-in-law, Rachel, by offering to help with her two small children, doing odd jobs around her house, and trying to ease her own heavy burden of grief. A new Christian, he is bent on growing his faith and helping Rachel see her way through the fog of pain and confusion.
Left to raise her three-year-old daughter and newborn son on her own, Rachel Evans is anything but willing to become her brother-in-law's charity case, particularly since they have a history she'd rather forget. She's determined to make it on her own but soon finds that God has other plans for her--and for Jason. Can she accept the Lord's leading and still honor her late husband's memory?
Here's my reaction to the book: This is a very good book! I have never read Sharlene MacLaren's work before, and this was a wonderful introduction to me. I enjoyed MacLaren's beautiful descriptions of the setting (around Lake Michigan), and her verbal illustrations of the settings made it easy to visualize the part of the Midwest in which these characters live. I also found her portrayal of Rachel's grief very believable. I have not lost my husband, but in the even that I did, I can imagine that I probably would react in the way that Rachel dealt with her husband's death. This illustration of grief is very believable, thanks to MacLaren's ability to dive deep into the heart of a grieving widow. MacLaren's writing helps make this story believable, and the characters are so true to people you know that you want to hang out with them after the book ends.
I enjoyed the relationship - and banter! - between Jason and Rachel. Rachel, believing she can make out just fine on her own, does not really know how to respond to the changes in Jason's life, and she really can't handle the fact that he wants to help her. Discovering through the story what really happened to these two was something I enjoyed in this story. I found myself looking forward to finding out the different ways Jason changed his life, and how his changes affect those around him. I also appreciated the evident changes in Rachel's life during the book. Seeing not one, but two people changed by Christ was exciting for me - I love seeing characters change for the better in a book!
In closing, if you love a good book, and you love a good romance, read this book. It's fulfilling - and spiritually fulfilling, above everything else, which is a definite plus. I highly recommend this book, and I think you will enjoy this one as much as I did! Happy reading!!!