Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Book Review: True North by Susan Diane Johnson
I have to be honest here. I'm not much of one to read contemporary fiction. Historical is more my thing. But in just a few pages, I was drawn in by True North.
This is the story of Joe and Lisa Kendall, a mostly happily-married couple who have been drifting apart. As the book opens, their love and commitment, to each other and to God, is shaken by tragedy. On the verge of divorce, Joe decides to go ahead and take their already-booked Alaskan cruise, wanting to be alone to lick his wounds and nurse his guilt. Lisa decides she will go on the cruise, too, but she doesn't tell Joe until the ship has left port and it's too late for her to turn back.
I enjoyed this story so much! The couple's grief and healing throughout was very touching. It was believable and true and not soppy or manipulative, and more than once it brought tears to my eyes. Suzie wrote it in such a way that I was very quickly rooting for these people, eager to see them heal and turn back to each other and to God.
It made me chuckle, too, to know that, instead of the luxurious, balconied room they had originally booked, they were stuck in a tiny cabin with bunk beds. Bunk beds! What a perfect way to make them stop hiding from each other. During the trip, they find they each have secrets they are afraid to share and things each of them did not know about the other. And when they begin to thaw towards each other, when they began to take their first shy steps towards trust and forgiveness, my heart was truly touched.
But Joe and Lisa aren't the only likeable characters in the story. There's also a darling little boy, Brandon, who's with his own grieving father, and Jessica, the older lady who has words of comfort and wisdom for both of the Kendalls. And then there is Alaska herself, a gorgeous backdrop to the story.
All in all, True North is a sweet, satisfying read that will touch your heart and make you want to fall in love all over again.
Congratulations, Suzie! Well done!
Are there any questions you'd like to ask Suzie about her writing or her new book?
Suzie has generously offered to give away a copy of True North to a lucky commenter. Please leave a comment by 11:59 pm Jan 31, eastern time, to be entered!
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