Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Unlikely Friends

Reviewed by Phee Paradise
Rain Dance by Joy DeKok

Sometimes friendships happen between the most unlikely people. Jonica and Stacie in Rain Dance are two such people. Jonica is a Christian wrestling with the Lord over her infertility. Stacie is a liberated woman exercising her right to choose abortion. But by God’s grace, Jonica offers compassion to Stacie when she needs it and a close friendship develops. Their families are impacted in the process, and love expands like ripples from a rock thrown into a puddle.

The strength of the book lies in this friendship and its impact on the women and their families. DeKok has created real people struggling with real issues. Both women have strong husbands and there are also some complicated relationships with parents and siblings. However, there were some events in the story that seemed as if they were there just to give Jonica something to react to. Although I know Christians are far from perfect, I don’t know any that are quite as judgmental as the members of Jonica’s church.

I also found much of the dialogue to be unnatural. The characters speak naturally about every day things like food and jobs, but many of the conversations are about faith and ideology. When the Christians talk about their faith they use Christianese and the liberals talk about their ideology in catchphrases. In spite of this, the story of the growing friendship is gripping, and the impact the two women have on their families is developed beautifully.

Pros: A heartwarming story of a strong friendship and its impact on a great many people.

Cons: Detailed descriptions of emotional pain and dialogue that is sometimes stiff.

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