Monday, January 18, 2010

Sisters Reunited

Reviewed by Phee Paradise
Thicker than Blood
By C.J. Darlington

Two sisters couldn’t be more different than Christy and May. One is a bookworm and has lived a hard life. The other is a rancher and loves the Lord. They haven’t seen each other in fifteen years and they don’t get together until a third of the way into the book. At first, Thicker than Blood is two parallel stories, tied together only by each sister thinking of the other. But eventually they meet and the real story begins.

Although Darlington has created compelling characters, the first part of the book is really back story, and I found myself asking, “So what?” But when they finally did meet, it didn’t happen the way I expected and I plunged happily into their evolving relationship. Each sister has a big problem that needs solving, and although the solution was obvious to me, they were real enough characters to not see it. Darlington also provided quite a few surprises, including a twist in the solution I expected.

The book has friendships, action and a nasty villain. The friendships reflected God’s love to Christy and the action made me stay with the book to see how it would end. I even suspected a not-so-good turnout for one of them. One weakness in the story was the villain. Although Darlington foreshadows his actions, he was never quite believable as a villain. I could believe he was self-centered and mean, but his evil actions seemed out of character.

If you can enjoy the two stories at the beginning of the book while you wait for them to come together, you will enjoy it. I definitely think it’s a book worth reading.

Pros: Strong characters with real dilemmas and difficult relationships. Both protagonists are very likeable, in spite of human faults. The story also has some unexpected twists.

Cons: The story has numerous point of view shifts. The author sometimes uses a minor character’s point of view to give the reader vital information. The book would have been strengthened if she had found another way to tell us. Blog Tours Presents:

Thicker than Blood
by C.J. Darlington
Published by Tyndale House

Winner of the
2008 Christian Writers Guild Operation First Novel Contest!

Christy Williams finally has her life on track. She’s putting her past behind her and working hard to build a career as an antiquarian book buyer. But things begin to unravel when a stolen Hemingway first edition is found in her possession, framing her for a crime she didn’t commit. With no one to turn to, she yearns for her estranged younger sister, May, whom she abandoned after their parents’ untimely deaths. Soon, Christy’s fleeing from her shattered dreams, her ex-boyfriend, and God. Could May’s Triple Cross Ranch be the safe haven she’s searching for? Will the sisters realize that each possesses what the other desperately needs before it’s too late?

Watch the book trailer:

About the Author:
C. J. began writing the story that would become Thicker than Blood (her first novel) when she was a fifteen-year-old homeschool student. She has been in the antiquarian bookselling business for over a decade, scouting for stores similar to the one described in the novel before cofounding her own online bookstore. Thicker than Blood was the winner of the 2008 Christian Writers Guild Operation First Novel.

C. J. co-founded the Christian entertainment Web site with her sister, Tracy, and has been actively promoting Christian fiction through book reviews and author interviews. She makes her home in Pennsylvania with her family and their menagerie of dogs and cats. Visit her website for more info.


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1 comment:

C.J. Darlington said...

Thanks so much for reviewing Thicker than Blood!