Thursday, September 1, 2011

"Chasing Sunsets" Review

Chasing Sunsets by Eva Marie Everson was sent to me as a review copy by Revell Publishing. It is a novel set in Cedar Key, on the Gulf coast of Florida.
Kimberly Tucker has come to a point in her life that she never thought she would see:  divorced and constantly battling with her ex-husband over their two sons. When her father suggests she spend some time at their family vacation home in Cedar Key while her boys are with their father for the summer, Kim reluctantly agrees. Since the death of her mother several years earlier, Kim has been unable to enjoy spending any time in Cedar Key. The visit this summer will bring to light many things in her life – both past and present – that will test whether she is depending on herself or on God.
When I first started reading this book, I didn’t think I would really like it. I could not relate to the main character at all, and I actually didn’t like her very much. I thought she dwelt too much on her past (and her first love, who now lives in Cedar Key) and on just ‘being happy’ instead of finding joy in the life she is living now. As I kept reading and the story developed, I came to understand where Kim was coming from and that her character had more depth than I thought she did at the beginning of the book.
I always like when contemporary stories go back in time and tell the story from the past, and this novel did that pretty well. The timeline jumped around a bit, but it was nice to go back and get into the characters’ heads as they told about their pasts.
My favorite character in this book was Kim’s next door neighbor in Cedar Key, Patsy. She reminded me of my grandmother so much! I loved the way she would just tell things as they were and how her faith in the Lord was so natural. She did not push her faith on anyone, but she didn’t shy away from talking about God, either. And it was cute that she was on Facebook!
The setting of the story is a nice one to read during the summer, especially if you are taking a beach vacation. The author’s imagery is written so well that there were times when I would feel hot just from the description of the Florida weather!
While this book is easy to read, it does deal with some heavy subjects. The characters are dealing with mistakes from their pasts, and sometimes it felt a little melodramatic. I realize that divorce and alcoholism and young parenthood are real life, contemporary issues that many people face today. It just seemed as if every single character in the book had a horrible thing from their past that came to light. Maybe this was just me, and instead I was the one being a little melodramatic as I read it.
I was also confused about what appeared to be the last chapter in the book. I thought it was the last chapter, but it seemed to actually be a teaser for a second book in a series. Because of this arrangement, the book did not feel as if it ended. It seemed as if I was missing some pages of my book! I don’t mind having a teaser at the end of a book, but it would have been better to have it clearly separated so that I knew I was reading an excerpt from another book. I felt like a dummy when I realized it was a teaser instead of the last chapter!
Despite my being confounded by the last chapter, Chasing Sunsets is a nice summer read that doesn’t shy away from real life issues.
I will give Chasing Sunsets by Eva Marie Everson … 3 ½ BookWorms.

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received this book free from the Revell Publishing/Baker Publishing Group. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this is accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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