I haven’t read very much Christian fiction because I usually end up disappointed in the quality of the writing. Aside from the Lori Wick novels I devoured during my first year of college, and my last book review (of Love, Charleson), I pretty much stick to non-Christian fiction.
But I’ve wanted to read more. I borrowed a book from a friend recently while I was visiting her, a Francine Rivers book. I haven’t read it yet. I was super stoked when I saw that there was an available Karen Kingsbury book to review on the BookSneeze website. I’ve seen her name lots of times, but never had the chance to read her books.
A Time to Dance is part of the Timeless Love series, and is built on the idea that there is a time for everything (Ecclesiastes 3:1 – 8). John and Abby, who met as young children, are on the brink of divorce. John’s affections have began to stray to a colleague, and Abby has drifted away as well. As they struggle with when to tell their children (with events happening that prolong their announcement), both begin to slowly and subtly question what it is they are about to do. Their daughter, Nicole, announces her own engagement, pushing back the announcement even more. Nicole and her fiance Matt decide that they will marry on John and Abby’s anniversary because they want a love like the Reynolds’. What follows is the work of God in John and Abby’s hearts, and the most important decision they will ever make — to stay married or to divorce. They must work through issues of trust, commitment, and most of all, faith in God.
On the surface, this book touched me because I know people whose lives and choices mirror John and Abby. I could see their faces, their names, as I read instead of the Reynolds’. It was sometimes hard to read it because of that. But I enjoyed the story and thought it was wonderfully done. It wasn’t mushy, wasn’t cheesy — nothing I’ve associated with Christian literature previously. The one thing that did kind of get on my nerves after a while were all of the italicized quotes from God. Both John and Abby heard God speak to them. While I believe God speaks to people, it was kind of overkill to me as a reader. It could be more an aesthetic thing than anything else, but it was the one black mark against the novel.