Friday, February 4, 2011

Review: Love, Charleston

Love, Charleston by Beth Webb Hart

3 stars

Reason for reading: Okra Picks Challenge

"Charleston's Anne Brumley has long dreamed of love while ringing the bells at St. Michael's, but those dreams are beginning to fade. Her sister Alisha and cousin Della encourage the thirty-six year old to move somewhere new for a fresh start.

Widower Roy Summerall has happily ministered to the country folks of Church of the Good Shepherd for years. So why would the Lord call him and his daughter away to Charleston--the city that Roy remembers from his childhood as pretentious and superficial? Surely the refined congregation of St. Michael's won't accept a reverend with a red neck and a simple faith.

Meanwhile, Anne's sister, Alisha, struggles with her husband's ambition, which seems to be taking him further from their dreams of a happy family. And Cousin Della's former fiance has returned to Charleston, making her wonder if she chose the wrong path when she married her gifted but unemployed-artist husband.

Family, friendship, and faith converge in a beautiful story about how God's transforming love works in the Holy City of Charleston."

My thoughts: I hadn't realized this was Christian fiction when I added it to my to-read list. Not that I have anything against the genre, I just don't have any real interest in it at all. Most of the book was pretty darn depressing - Roy's wife died of cancer, Alisha and her baby almost die and then she suffers from terrible post-partum depression and her husband is a jerk, and Della almost has an affair. While it's tagged as being a love story between Anne and Roy, Anne is away in England for a large part of the book and it honestly seemed a bit of a pairing of convenience - she's an old maid bell-ringer, he's a widowed minsiter, they should get together. I always love books set in Charleston, so that helped. But I particularly thought the last pages where Della, an author, ponders over whether it's a happy ending was a bit too meta for me. I'd probably recommend this author to someone looking for Christian women's fiction or a non-sexy romance, but it wasn't my cup of sweet tea.