Beneath a Southern Sky ), multifaceted characters and a fresh story line keep the pages turning. Wade Sullivan, an appealing co"/>
 

A NEST OF SPARROWS

Deborah Raney, Author
Deborah Raney, Author . WaterBrook $12.99 (352p) ISBN 978-1-57856-578-8
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-299-11381-7
Open Ebook - 237 pages - 978-0-307-55201-3
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In this thoughtful novel by Raney (Beneath a Southern Sky ), multifaceted characters and a fresh story line keep the pages turning. Wade Sullivan, an appealing contractor, is anticipating his wedding to the love of his life, the divorced Starr Parnell. Starr's three delightful young children will give Wade an instant family, and he's already "dad" in the kids' minds. When Starr dies unexpectedly, her abusive ex-husband, Darrin Parnell, shows up to collect the kids—and the insurance money. Wade discovers that his own claim on the children is tenuous. Worried about his abilities as a parent, he reflects that perhaps it is time to let go. As the story progresses, Raney intertwines poignant moments with genuine humor and refuses to make her characters one-dimensional: although Darrin is a character readers might love to hate, Raney shows that he does have glimmers of love for his estranged children. Raney also doesn't sugarcoat Wade's abilities as a stepfather, letting him make ignorant mistakes that would cause a seasoned parent to cringe. Although the novel is sound, some of the few missteps are a conversion scene (which, while poignant, is oh-too-expected in an evangelical Christian novel) and the rushed romance at the conclusion of the story. This is one of Raney's best novels, however, and an excellent read for lovers of CBA fiction. (June)

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