Wednesday, August 21, 2013

"Slow Moon Rising" Review

In Slow Moon Rising, we return to idyllic Cedar Key – the place of peace and rest for generations of the Claybourne family. Anise, Kimberly, Jayme-Leigh, Heather, and Ami – each woman experiences her share of heartbreak.

When family secrets come to light, everyone in the Claybourne family must decide which path to take – one that will lead to destruction or one that will lead to reconciliation.

Slow Moon Rising is the final chapter of the Cedar Key series by Eva Marie Everson.

From the very beginning, this novel kind of got off on the wrong foot with me. Anise’s attraction to older men was something that I could not relate to at all, and I actually found it kind of disturbing. When Anise first meets Ross, she is 38, and he is 60. Those ages are fairly close to the ages of my father and me. So, I was pretty uncomfortable with this relationship from the beginning, and I found it hard to shake even as I kept reading the book.

This novel is told from the points of view of several main characters. I didn’t think I was going to like this at first, but it actually made me more interested in the story than I think I would have been if it had been told in a different way. Sometimes these changes in scene were a bit abrupt, but overall it was a pretty good way to tell the story of this family. I liked having the different perspectives of the family members.

It was interesting that this novel went back in time to before the beginning of the first Cedar Key book, it then kind of retold the stories in the first two books again, and then it ended many years later. It was a prequel, middle, and sequel all in one, which was very unique. The individual plots didn’t always interest me, but it was nice to have all of the family members’ stories come together and be wrapped up in this novel. I liked returning to Cedar Key to once again experience that setting and its characters.

This entire novel revolves around the Claybourne family and their lives over many years. The members of this family face many things such as divorce, cancer, infertility, losing loved ones, alcoholism, past affairs – the list goes on. While I am not so naïve as to think that these things don’t happen in the real world or even in my own family, the way in which the Cedar Key series portrays these situations just felt too soap opera-y for me. There didn’t seem to be enough balance between these things that happen in life versus our strength to face them through Christ.

I also thought the ending to this novel was way too drawn out and depressing. The final event that took place was real and difficult and very hard to read. I appreciate when authors don’t go too far away from reality, but I primarily read for enjoyment and for entertainment. It is not enjoyable for me to read a book revolving around such hardships in the life of this family without a really good sense of hope and spiritual growth throughout. This novel touched on that hope here and there (with an out-of-nowhere, one-time, deep spiritual discussion towards the end), but the overall feeling was just dismal.

Slow Moon Rising was well-written in the way that it wrapped up all of the storylines from the Cedar Key series, but it lacked the hope and grace that I have come to expect from Christian fiction.

I will give Slow Moon Rising … 2 BookWorms.

Slow Moon Rising
by Eva Marie Everson
Book 3 in the Cedar Key series
Revell Publishers
Publication date: June 1, 2013

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Revell 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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