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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We, the ladies of Inkwell Inspirations, would love to give free stuff to everybody. Since we can't, we will often have a giveaway in conjunction with a specific post. Unless otherwise stated, one winner will be drawn from comments left on that post between the date it was published and the end of the giveaway as determined in the post. Entries must be accompanied by a valid email address. This address is used only to contact the commenter in the event that he/she is the winner, and will not be sold, distributed, or used in any other fashion. The odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. NO PURCHASE, PLEDGE, OR DONATION NECESSARY TO ENTER OR TO WIN. ALL FEDERAL, STATE, LOCAL AND MUNICIPAL LAWS AND REGULATIONS APPLY. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED.
Thanks DeAnna - what a great review. I have to say it's odd but I like to cry during a story. I want to be that involved emotionally, so it's a selling point for me.ReplyDelete
I love Suzie's writing so I really look forward to this story. I know Susie Dietze is going to interview her and we have a release party later this month so we get to celebrate with her.
Then Deb, I hope I make you cry. ;)Delete
Thank you for loving my writing, and I hope I don't disappoint you.
Oh, and remember that movie you shared about on fb yesterday? Waitstaff! CF and MB!
Oh, I like a good fictional cry, too!Delete
I would be most happy to win a copy of this book! Thanks for entering my name!ReplyDelete
An Alaskan cruise is on my wish list...maybe someday my husband and I can go. I don't want bunk beds though! ;)
elaineking1 at hotmail dot come
I have the cruise on my wishlist, too, Elaine. I've talked to so many people who've taken the trip.Delete
Thank you, DeAnna, for the lovely review!ReplyDelete
You're more than welcome, Suzie. The book was great. So touching. I hope it sells a million!Delete
Thank you! If it does we'll go on that cruise!Delete
Wonderful review, DeAnna. Suzie is a gifted writer and her stories truly touch the heart.ReplyDelete
Congratulations again, Suzie!
sigh, I'd love to go on an Alaskan cruise. Maybe even a Disney one. We priced it once, just to see. Ay!
Thanks, Susie. It was great to be able to do the review for Suzie's book. Loved it.Delete
Susie, that's so sweet. Thank you! My friend and her daughter went on a Disney cruise to Alaska. She said it was great fun!Delete
Wait, did you say the prize is a free Alaskan cruise? :)ReplyDelete
Congratulations on the book, Suzie!
I thought Suzie was taking us all on an Alaskan cruise. Isn't that it, Suz?Delete
You guys are so so funny! I wish. Hey, if I sold a million copies, then I could probably swing that!Delete
What a great review! This has definitely piqued my interest. What a unique setting. Sounds like a great read.ReplyDelete
sbmason at sympatico dot ca
This comment has been removed by the author.Delete
Hi Susan! Thank you so much! This book is very special to me! :)Delete
The story does indeed sound heart-warming and heart-wrenching both. I truly hope to get to read it...my interest is definitely piqued. God bless you, Suzie, and hearty congratulations.ReplyDelete
Thank you so much, Tanya. I appreciate it so much. :)Delete
Well done, DeAnna. I really like how you reviewed Suzie's book. My interest level increases the more I hear about the story and characters.ReplyDelete
However, I'd opt for a Caribbean or Hawaiian cruise instead of an Alaskan one. Beautiful as it is, there's only so much snow and ice a person wants to see and being Canadian, I've had my fill, thank you.
Anita looks north today Elaine's house and mutters... Traitor!
Thank you, Anita! And I can totally understand about not wanting more snow. I don't like to be cold. But I do want to see Alaska and all of those whales!Delete
Haha Anita! Yes, I get lots of snow and cold but I've heard the Alaskan cruise is one of the best! And it's not all snow and ice! ;)Delete
a wonderful posting...thanks for the opportunity to read this novel :)ReplyDelete
kmkuka at yahoo dot com
Thank you, Karen!Delete