This Side of Heaven

Karen Kingsbury, Author . Center Street $14.99 (352p) ISBN 978-1-59995-678-7

Christian fiction author Kingsbury is well loved by her fans, and this newest story, based loosely upon her own brother’s death, will further endear her to her faithful readers. Kingsbury tells the story of a strained relationship between picture-perfect Nate and Annie Warren, whose son, Josh, a tow truck driver, has been a disappointment to them. Even though Josh’s mistakes are now history, his current joblessness—owing to a drunk driver’s recklessness—serves to ratchet up his parental disapproval rating. Only a few people know the truth: Josh is a real-life hero and his one heart’s desire is to be united with a daughter he’s never met. When Josh’s life is struck again by tragedy, his immediate family must come to grips with the recognition that they never really cared enough to ultimately know their son. Kingsbury does a fine job communicating the emotional struggles of individuals, and readers will resonate with her characters’ sorrows and losses. Yet much of the story is formulaic, which detracts from its otherwise powerful message about acceptance. (Jan.)

Reviewed on: 11/10/2008
Release date: 01/01/2009
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