Wednesday, November 30, 2011

"The One Who Waits for Me" Review

The One Who Waits for Me by Lori Copeland was sent to me as a review copy by Harvest House Publishers.

The months just after the end of the Civil War are a tumultuous time for everyone, especially for those in the South. But for Beth Jornigan, her sister Joanie, and her friend Trella, it seems to be a perfect time to finally escape from under the oppressive thumb of her uncle.
For soldiers Grey Eagle, Pierce, and Preach, the end of the war means finally going home. When they come across three young women on the run, the soldiers reluctantly agree to help the trio. What they encounter on the journey is not what any of them expected, but maybe what God had planned all along.

Author Lori Copeland is a prolific Christian writer, but from my recollection, this is the first of her novels that I have read. The story grabbed my interest from the beginning, with the soldiers travelling home and the sisters escaping from their uncle.
Which is why I felt rather let down as I kept reading. As I got to know the characters more (especially Beth and Pierce), what I thought would be interesting about them kind of got annoying as the story progressed. The character of Beth was supposedly so spunky and independent, but she kept acting childishly and always needed rescuing (and it usually was from something of her own naïve doing). It also seemed as if the relationship between Pierce and Beth was father-child instead of a romantic relationship, which gave it a weird feeling.

My favorite characters were Joanie (Beth’s sister) and the nuns at the convent where Beth and Joanie find temporary sanctuary. Joanie was so sweet, and her faith shone like a bright light, which had a huge impact on Beth. Sister Mary Margaret was a delight, and I liked how the nuns were portrayed. I enjoyed how God brought all of these people from different backgrounds together as friends.
As far as the romantic piece of the novel, I thought the relationship between Joanie and Grey Eagle was the best. The relationship between Trella and Preach was predictable, but the one between Pierce and Beth felt forced.

As far as writing, I really enjoyed the witty banter among the three soldiers. They seemed to be good friends, and their conversations were amusing. However, it was sometimes hard to keep up with who was speaking in the dialogue. Because of all of the characters and the story being told from several different points of view, the story seemed choppy rather than having a smooth overall flow. I also thought the ending was a bit abrupt and maybe needed an epilogue or something. (Maybe there will be other books to come? If so, it is nice to have that noted somewhere on the cover or back of the book.)
Something that bothered me in this book that I just have to mention is the feelings of Pierce about the war. (I realize that this is a character in a fictional book, but please bear with me). Pierce fought for the North even though he was from the South because he felt all men should be free. However, after seeing the plight of the newly freed slaves after the war (they had nowhere to go and had a difficult time providing for their families), he to wonders what he fought for. Maybe I am taking it to the extreme, but he seemed to regret fighting to end slavery. Again, I realize that this is a character in a book, but it just didn’t sit well with me, and it contributed to me not liking the book as much as I could have.

The One Who Waits for Me tells a story that involves serious subjects and situations but had an overall sweet feeling that didn’t always ring true. Fans of Lori Copeland should still give it a try.

I will give The One Who Waits for Me by Lori Copeland ... 2 ½ BookWorms.

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received this book free from Harvest House Publishers. 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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