Title: Last Family Standing
Author: Jennifer Allee
This is an exception. I really enjoyed this book.
The messaging is more in the way that people treat each other. There's a lot of growth, respect, and some really great people who learn how to accept, forgive, and love - and all without the author hitting you over the head with it.
Now, I do need to be honest, the reason I selected this book (aside from an interest in the basic plot) was that I love reality shows like Survivor. And if, like me, you enjoy those shows, you'll love this. The author obviously watches the shows and it comes through how much she enjoys them.
But for those of you who don't love reality shows, the story itself will get you through. It's hopeful, sad, joyful, and just a great story about love and the true meaning of family.
Is it Christian? Yes. Some of the characters mention their faith more than once, but these are the kinds of Christians who represent the best out there. They are tolerant, humorous, kind, they make mistakes and may not always do the right thing, but they are, at heart, good people.
Yet, I can't give it five stars.
There's a very sweet romance in the novel that was very rushed in the end. I felt a little cheated when the author basically told us what happened with that, rather than showing us. And there's a little too much fairy tale in how everything works out. I needed a little more reality in their family situations and a little less 'neatly tied up in a pretty package'.
But I would read the author again in a heartbeat - Christian fiction or not. She simply tells a good story!