cover image GIDEON'S GIFT


Karen Kingsbury, . . Warner, $13.95 (160pp) ISBN 978-0-446-53124-5

Kingsbury, a beloved novelist in the CBA market, is known for weepy tales replete with hospital bedside scenes, emotional reunions and miracles. This eager if predictable novella will please her established fans, and may win a few new ones as well, provided they are armed with enough Kleenex. In the story, the Scrooge-like Earl Badgett—a grumpy and aggressive version of the typical widower of CBA fiction—has his Christian faith revived through the efforts of an eight-year-old girl. Pious, mature children who lead adults back to faith were a staple of 19th-century domestic fiction, and remain so in the CBA today; sweet little Gideon Mercer is no exception. And if the novel's emotional quotient weren't high enough, she's even suffering from leukemia. Despite the overwrought stereotypes, Kingsbury writes quite well; her skill with pacing goes a long way toward redeeming this tired and contrived plot. (Oct. 10)