Between Sundays Paperback – Oct 25 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
Bestselling author Kingsbury (Forever; Sunrise) sets her first hardcover novel in the world of professional football. Derrick Anderson, a retiring quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, promised his dying son that he would win a Super Bowl for him. His hope may rest on upcoming star Aaron Hill, who is beginning to find the glitz and glamour of life at the top meaningless. To complicate things, there's a young foster child named Cory who believes that Aaron is his dad and is determined to get his point across, and sparks fly (of course) between Aaron and Megan, Cory's foster mother. Kingsbury's fans can probably guess exactly how the story will turn out, but will still enjoy the ride. Woven into the light inspirational romance is a message about the needs of foster children, inspired by Alex Smith's work with the foster care system—Smith is the real-life 49ers' quarterback and penned the foreword. The writing at times plods, and everything is simple, sometimes unbelievably so—the story, the dialogue, the characters' Christian faith. But Kingsbury's fans like her novels sweet, and this one may motivate them to get involved and make a difference with some of the neediest kids. (Nov.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
This is Derrick's last season and he wants desperately to win another championship ring to fulfill a promise he made. He already has two rings, but needs a third for a reason only he and his wife know. Derrick is a family man, deeply rooted in his faith, living his life by God's grace.
Aaron is an arrogant playboy, king of the hill, living only for the moment and the adoration of the fans and media, with no time for God. Aaron has a couple championship rings and thinks that winning this season would be great, but it's not something he is overly concerned about. After all, he has his whole life ahead of him to win Super Bowls, right?
Jay is young and a little shy, this being his first season in the NFL. He wants to fit in with the team and is awe struck by Derrick and Aaron. He has some faith, but is not completely committed.
San Francisco has a large contingent of foster kids. Megan Gunn volunteers at the Youth Center as well. She is a single foster mom to Cory. Amy, Cory's mother, had been a close friend to Megan before she died tragically. Cory is a big fan of the 49ers. Derrick is a very compassionate person and tries to reach out to the kids. In the off season, he hosts pizza parties at a Youth Center. Derrick gives away five game tickets each week at the pizza party. Cory wants desperately to win a ticket and attend a game because Cory has a secret - he believes he is the son of one of the 49er players. Megan, of course, doesn't believe him, attributing his belief to the fact that he so wants a father. She thinks this is just his fantasy and tries to discourage him, but Cory insists his mother told him and his mother did not lie.
Kingsbury takes you through the hopes, dreams, injuries, disappointments and trials of the coach and his players in the NFL. Will they make it to the Super Bowl, and if so, what are their chances of a win? The novel clearly points out that we are not defined by what we do on Sunday, but what we do Monday through Saturday. Between Sundays is a novel for all ages, and especially NFL and 49ers fans.
Note: In real life, Alex Smith, the current 49er quarterback founded the Alex Smith Foundation for foster children. His foundation provides provides support, funding, and a chance at a fuller life.
Between Sundays by Karen Kingsbury
I actually listened to this book as I have had a lot of driving to do lately, including to and from California for Thanksgiving.
Between Sundays by Karen Kingsbury is the story of a young boy, Cory, whose mother passed away. His father was never in the picture, so now his mother's friend, Megan Gunn, has been raising him as her foster son. Megan believes that God had her meet Cory's mother in order to be able to foster him after she passed away.
Several years after her death Cory is still a young boy, living in San Francisco with Megan. He is happy and enjoys a mutual love of the San Francisco 49ers with Megan. One day, his dreams come true when Derrick Anderson, a QB for the 49ers sets up an event for foster children, enabling them to meet him. Since Cory is a foster child, he can go! Sure, Derrick isn't his very favorite, that's Aaron Hill, but still it's pretty cool to get to meet Derrick!
Cory takes the opportunity to give a letter to Derrick, asking him to give it to Aaron Hill. And in the letter, a shocking revelation. Cory writes that he is Aaron Hill's son! And he wants to meet his dad...
True to his promise, Derrick passes the letter on. But Aaron couldn't care less. He enjoys chasing after women, never wanting to go after the same one twice, and enjoys living life as a "bad boy." He's constantly making the news for scandals, and in an effort to calm his image down a bit (just so he doesn't lose his sponsorships) he goes with Derrick to the foster kid event the next week.
Cory is thrilled! Aaron must have read his letter, and that's why he came! But when Megan speaks to Aaron, it's clear to her that he's lying when he tells Cory that he read the letter. Megan knows what Cory believes, but figures it is just the overactive imagination of a young boy. She lets Aaron have it for lying to Cory, and for once Aaron's interest is piqued by a woman that he doesn't have in the palm of his hand. Instead, Megan really wants nothing to do with him and he cannot figure out why.
All he wants to do is call Megan. Cory is nice enough, but kind of annoying, but Aaron likes his foster mom and is determined to get to know her. And finally, the only way to do so is find Cory's letter and read it, because Cory told him that he had included their phone number in the letter.
So, Aaron digs up the letter and when he reads it and learns what Cory believes, that he is the father of Cory, it sets into motion a complicated journey to figure out what this all means.
Is Cory right, is Aaron his father? Or is it just Cory's imagination? And if so, how will Megan keep Cory from getting hurt when he finds out that Aaron doesn't think he is Cory's father?
Read Between Sundays to find out!
I have to admit, I preferred my first Karen Kingsbury book better. This book wasn't bad, but it took more effort to keep my attention.
Perhaps it was that I didn't get as emotionally invested in the story. Perhaps it was that the narrator was a bit distracting with her attempts to create different voices. Or perhaps it just didn't click with me. I'm not sure. I honestly think a lot of it was that I just didn't like the narrator at all, and that turned out to be very distracting for me and detracted from the story itself.
Aaron is pretty easy to dislike. He's a bit of a womanizer and is willing to fake nice to a young boy just to get after his foster mom. But Megan is a wonderful character. A young woman in her early twenties, willing to accept responsibility for a young boy as a foster mom, willing to work 3 jobs just to support the two of them, and willing to put down her foot and stand up for herself. I found her inspirational. It made me want to dedicate my life to fostering children, she made me want to adopt.
I think the message is a good one. Karen Kingsbury is obviously a Christian author, and while I didn't elaborate on that message in my summary, the book also has a deep Christian message about how what really matters in life is what happens between Sundays. You can be as good as you want on Sundays, but between Sundays shows who you really are. Shows your true character. To me, it means that it doesn't matter if you go sit in a building for church services once a week. If you live the rest of the week the opposite of a Christian, that's what counts, and that's what shows your true character.
If you like Karen Kingsbury or contemporary Christian fiction (or both!) consider this book. It may not be her best, but it was still enjoyable. Definitely read it though, don't listen to it as the narration is pretty poor.
3 out of 5 stars.
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