Friday, February 1, 2013

RE:View | The Color of Light by Nancy Thelen

Last night I was surprised by a "night off" - well, mostly.  I had a few things that needed finishing up at work but, when I came home, I was able to cook dinner and relax a little.  It was heaven!  I even made my Single Lady Apple Crisp and enjoyed some mindless hulu watching (hehe).

But today (my day off) is another story!  I have lots to accomplish and am happy to say that part of that "work" is reading.  You honestly can't have a better 'job' than that, in my opinion.  No, I'm not getting paid to read - yet!  But, I do need to schedule the time to do it so today is one of those days!

I am starting off with 4 books:

Gospel Centered Discipleship by Jonathan K. Dodson - This book is for our women's group at church and I technically have to have it finished by next Friday...I think I'll make it!

The Wedding Dress by Rachel Hauck - They say you must read what you write and I would love to write like Rachel Hauck!

Revision & Self-Editing by James Scott Bell - I have 4 manuscripts that need to be edited... I think this book will be extremely helpful & timely.

Key Witness by Christy Barritt - I'm excited because this book is just about to be released and I get the opportunity to review it before hand!

Anyway, on to the "real" reason for this post...

The Color of Light by Nancy Thelen

Jackie lives in the small town of Rivers Run in a quaint cottage surrounded by her two sisters and cousin Tom.  She's a talented creative who forms beautiful stained glass items as well as rag rugs to sell in order to support herself and her loveable dog Sadie.

When she delivers a custom order to a shop in town and is chosen as the next guest on a television fix-it show, she is the first person to step out of the spotlight, paying it forward to a neighbor in need. As the television crew comes to Rivers Run, Jackie finds herself face to face with her television crush, a carpenter named Doug.

Through the various trials they face with weather, the show, and their friendship, a bond is formed between them just as Doug has to leave for the shows next out-of-state job.  Not to mention one of Jackie's favorite places in the Rivers Run area, an old summer camp she used to attend, is up for sale and may be taken over by a large company that would forever change the economy of Rivers Run.

As I read through this story I found the town of Rivers Run to be charming and as close to perfect as any small town could be.  The element of "quaint small town" is driven hard though this book and can act as a reprieve for anyone living the city life.  Coming from a small town myself, I can relate to the closeness, though some of it can come across as unrealistic.  Also, something to watch out for in this novel - a long list of characters!  I found myself half way through the book asking myself, "Who is that again?".  Nancy does a great job of dropping you, the reader, into the middle of a small town community, but it can get a little confusing at times so pay close attention to the names and associations of characters.

All in all, it's a sweet book that will give you a good break from the every-day life of the city (if you're looking for that) or remind you of the blessings of living in a small town (if you do already).

Note that it is a series so, when you get to the end, you will be kept guessing until book #2 comes out!


***Spoiler Alert ***

I wanted to discuss one part of the book that I found interesting but I have to give away something to do it, so I wanted to make sure you all knew before I just dove into it!

I just wanted to mention two things about the book.  First, it is a Catholic based book which I didn't realize at first until they mentioned attending Mass.  Now, of course, that's not wrong but it is different from what I generally read and review.  I don't have much personal experience with the Catholic church, but I am cautious only to the point that the emphasis is not on works but on faith in Jesus, the resurrected Son of God.  Nancy's portal of the church is focused on them doing a lot of good in the community by helping those in need and the main character is often seen praying before bed and turning to God in hard times.  Again, I only say this because I usually read nondenominational Christian books and often endorse them but, seeing as it's fiction, I see no harm in a different denomination as long as it's handled well - which, in this case, it was!  Hope you hear my heart in this :)

Anyway, the second part contains the spoiler.  The main character (at least in this book) is Jackie and she meets Doug - as I mentioned above.  When she does, Doug has stepped back from his faith (or something akin to that) and Jackie cautions him that he needs to turn back to God. At the end of the book though, Doug proposes to Jackie and she accepts even though she is hesitant.  She does mention to him that he needs to be worshiping with the church and that she's concerned that he isn't, but she doesn't make an issue out of it.

This is the only part I was concerned about because she agreed to marry him even though she wasn't sure of where he was at in his relationship with God and she even mentioned that she thinks maybe she can convince him to turn back.  Now, I will give Nancy the benefit of the doubt because I have a feeling she is going to address this in the next book, but if she doesn't I would be hard pressed to say I agreed with her decision to allow Jackie to be in a relationship with someone who was "unequally yolked" with her.  As I said, I have suspicions that Nancy will use this in the next book to grow both characters and possibly address this so it remains to be seen.

Anyway, if you're looking for a cute book about a small town coming together and helping one another, this is definitely the book for you!  Just be warned, when you get to the end you will want to read the next one but you'll need to wait ;)

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I received a free copy of this book for review purposes, but was under no obligation to read the book or post a review. I do so under my own motivation and the opinions I have expressed in this review are honest and entirely my own.