cover image The Remedy for Regret

The Remedy for Regret

Susan Meissner, . . Harvest House, $11.99 (300pp) ISBN 978-0-7369-1664-6

Meissner's third novel follows protagonist Tess Longren on a meandering journey of self-discovery, during which she grapples with her enduring anguish over her mother's death. While the novel offers emotionally believable moments as well as a largely unobjectionable plot, it suffers from a sluggish prose style that often states the obvious. Narrator Tess's observations about her life frequently devolve into a combination of cataloguing and free-associating her experiences, and this rambling, coupled with frequent mentions of people and events that have little or no bearing on the events of the novel, make the book feel padded. While there are some well-written characters, such as Tess's distant father and her surrogate-mother neighbor, many of the novel's events meant to pack an emotional punch fail to do so. The novel is readable if not deeply involving, and it refrains from the high melodrama present in many contemporary Christian novels for women. (July)