I hate spending time reading about the plot of a book on review sites - just tell me, Did you like it or not?

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

A Sinner in Paradise

A Sinner in Paradise

4 stars

426 pages
Expected publication: Aug. 28, 2013 by Light Messages Publishing

When I picked up this ARC, I wasn't sure what to expect. Is it a romance? A smarmy cheesefest? A fictional memoir?

Instead, I found it to be an uplifting tale of a woman named Geneva who journeys from the throes of immaturity to a life filled with wisdom and humility by eschewing city life and returning to her roots in rural West Virginia. I was happily surprised with how much I liked it!

The writing was fluid and easy to read. I usually hate it when accents are phonetically spelled out, but the author Deborah Hining does it well. It’s actually easy to read. I could hear the accent in my mind.

The ebook had some punctuation problems, but that is easily overlooked in favor of the prose.

Hining has a knack for descriptive writing. Her descriptions of the mountain country where Geneva lives were beautiful, and they transported me to the times I have been in the mountains and experienced that natural splendor.

One theme of the book: every person in your life can be a source of knowledge. Every person on earth is equal, and they all have the ability to enrich your life. Geneva starts out looking down her nose at the “hillbillies” she meets and morphs into a woman who appreciates and loves them. She learns from every person that she meets.

There are religious elements to the story, but it only gets overly preachy two or three times, and those are towards the end of the book when the main character is discovering and trying to fix her flaws.

My favorite characters in the book are Lilly and Sally Beth. Whenever those two show up together in the prose, you know you are going to get some hilarious bickering. I loved it. I delighted in discovering that there was more to Sally Beth than a bickering cousin. She made me want to look at people differently.

One reason I gave it 4 stars instead of 5 is that the ending was a bit abrupt. All the concerns that Geneva brings up about her situation are not resolved satisfactorily.  The ending also leaves the other three men in Geneva’s life hanging – they were all in love with her. It seems unfair to leave them unhappy – they were all good men. There is also a smattering of mild swearing and premarital sex.

I can recommend this book to those in the mood for an uplifting, Christian book.

Thank you NetGalley and Light Messages Publishing for the opportunity to review this book.

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