AFTER THE RAINS

Deborah Raney, Author . WaterBrook $11.99 (352p) ISBN 978-1-57856-576-4

Picking up several years after the point at which her previous novel, Beneath a Southern Sky, left off, Raney again explores the long-term ramifications of careless choices, developing themes of God's forgiveness and grace along the way. Natalie Camfield, who was a small child in the previous installment, is now a discontented teen haunted by the heartbreaking choice her mother made long ago that has kept Natalie from her birth father. Rebellious, angry and feeling like an outsider in her family, Natalie makes her own wrong decisions, the implications of which reverberate throughout the rest of the novel. Natalie's desire for forgiveness eventually takes her to Colombia to visit her birth father, a missionary doctor. There, Natalie finds her true calling and—rather predictably—romance, as she learns that God's grace cannot be earned. Writing troubles, however, mar the novel. The prologue telegraphs much about one of the central events, diminishing the narrative tension, and the drunk-driving scenario is an overused device in current CBA novels. Characters smile, grin or laugh far too frequently (if it's a serious scene, they smile weakly, wryly or sadly), and there are entire sections where the word "she" begins almost every sentence. The most appealing element of the novel, however, is its compelling message that God can redeem poor choices, no matter how tragic the initial consequences. (Sept.)

Reviewed on: 08/26/2002
Release date: 09/01/2002
Genre: Fiction
Hardcover - 608 pages - 978-0-7862-4945-9
Open Ebook - 252 pages - 978-0-307-81362-6
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