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Tuesday, September 04, 2007

As I Have Loved You, by Nikki Arana

Hey all, I'm sorry I've been MIA lately, I've been trying to get ready for conference and still keep up with the day job along with the freelance job I do. I'm behind on the Love Inspired Wednesday review but I should have one posted for Murder by Mushroom tomorrow at the latest and then Sushi for One by Camy Tang will be up next. ;)

Now for As I Have Loved You. I did the CFBA blog tour when this was one of our chosen books, but I wanted to take the time to do my own post about this book. It was quite interesting and also the first book I've read by Nikki Arana.

Here's the blurb:

Leigh Scott is a widowed, single mother who wants the best for her son Jeff. She would like him to graduate from college, land a secure job, and start a family. However, Jeff, who was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) at a young age, has a God-given compassion for people. And his non-judgemental acceptance of all has unintended consequences.

Jeff starts dating Jessica, a girl with a questionable past and seemingly non-existent future. Soon, Jeff's grades drop as quickly as his sober determination to achieve the goals he's worked toward all his life, and Leigh finds herself caught in a relational tornado

To complicate matters further, Leigh is an author with a looming book deadline, a father battling cancer, and her former boyfriend and first love, a strong Christian Native American, coming back in her life.

Sabrina Here: As I said, this is the first book I've read by this author. I didn't know what to expect and was pleasantly surprised. Arana does a great job with her characterization by making us really feel for her characters. She makes them human with real flawes and yet showing their redeeming values.

Her character, Jessica, (I won't give too much away) anyway, Jessica has lived a less than stellar life, she's making a mess of Leigh's son's life and to put it honestly, sucking the life out of him and dragging him into a life of despair. What Arana does so well is make us feel for the girl, even though she's a mess, and she never quits being a mess, we still see her redeeming value and find ourselves praying the girl gets the help she deserves.

By the end of the book, Leigh realizes her own flaws as a Christian and sees herself for the judgmental person she's become. How many times in our own walk with God do we find ourselves feeling self-righteous and as much as I hate saying it...better than others? I'll confess it right here, I judge people all the time, only to be convicted by God with that little still voice saying "Sabrina, isn't my grace sufficient for them too?"

I think that's what I loved about this book, it was full of flawed people doing the best they could. Both Christians and non-Christians. And that's real life folks.

If I had to find a fault with the book I'd say they didn't do justice to her cover. There was so many neat things they could have done to incorporate the story line that I admit I might not have picked it up by cover alone if I'd have seen it in the bookstore. If you get the chance, pick up your copy today. And if you go to Nikki's website and find and email me a title of one of Nikki's other books I'll put you in a drawing for a copy of As I Have Loved You. ;)


Janna said...

"The Winds Of Sonoma" is another of her books. Nikki has a pretty website too. I would love to win a copy of her book, she seems like an author I would really enjoy. I need to start getting her books!

Janna said...

Sabrina -
Yes, I am Cara's sister, she talks about you all the time and I had to come check out your website (it's a really cool website by the way, you keep introducing me to authors I've never read before!) and I forgot to leave my e-mail...