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About the Author
Karen Kingsbury is currently America’s best-selling inspirational author. She has written more than 30 of her Life-Changing Fiction titles and has nearly 5 million books in print. Dubbed by Time magazine as the Queen of Christian Fiction, Karen receives hundreds of letters each week and considers her readers as friends. Her fiction has made her one of the country’s favorite storytellers, and one of her novels - Gideon’s Gift - is under production for an upcoming major motion picture release. Her emotionally gripping titles include the popular Redemption series, the Firstborn series, Divine, One Tuesday Morning, Beyond Tuesday Morning, Oceans Apart, and A Thousand Tomorrows. Karen and her husband, Don, live in the Pacific Northwest and are parents to one girl and five boys, including three adopted from Haiti. You can find out more about Karen, her books, and her appearance schedule at www.KarenKingsbury.com.
Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
So why the lower rating? Oh, Karen, I hate to say this, but ... I felt like I was reading a novelized re-cap of my favorite TV show. You know how they always have "the best of" episodes in which they show you glimpses of everything you've already watched? That's what this book was like. Yes, there were a few new plot developments, but not enough to keep me interested. I was hoping for a little more action, a little more plot. Instead I got a lot of memories -- great memories!! Tear-jerker memories! But since I already have the other books, I'm a bit disappointed in paying for another book that, for the most part, echoes what was already sitting on my shelf.
That said, I LOVE the Baxters! I miss them already and would love to follow their stories further. This book continued the series' strong themes of redemption and forgiveness, both things we could all use more of. Great story. Great family. Great author. Just too much repetition for avid fans.
There are some nice unexpected surprises that happen to one of the Baxter siblings at the end of the book. Often I am tempted to flip to the back of the book and read the last few pages. Don't do that. It will ruin the twists and surprises. You will not regret reading this book. I am thrilled to hear that this is not the last we will hear from the Baxters. She is writing a new series of books about a different family who will be moving to Bloomington, the town where the Baxters live which means we will get updates on what is happening in thier lives. You won't regret reading this novel if you have come to love the Baxters like they were real people.
Knowing that this was to be the "end" of the Baxter story, Kingsbury tries to wrap up ALL of the loose ends from the previous books...many of which did not need wrapping up. Happy endings are enjoyable, but when every single ending is picture perfect, the story loses a lot of the realism that makes the rest of the series so easy to relate to. There was less depth in this book, and too many easy answers.
Finally, the thing that bothered me most in this book was the way that Angela Manning (from the very first Baxter book, Redemption) is reintroduced. How would she not have recognized Kari?!? They spoke face-to-face in Redemption! And under the circumstances, neither would ever forget the other. The fact that the author forgot -- as well as her editors and the many other people who read her books before they go to print -- is hard to comprehend. That entire storyline felt forced and untrue.
The series is an excellent one, and Kingsbury is one of my favorite authors, but Sunset left much to be desired.
It goes without say that the Baxter family as a whole was the key characters in this final installment. Every individual family member's story came to some sort of predictable conclusion. Once again, there was a lot of reviewing, for the consideration of first time readers. But, for those of us that have read the whole series, I found myself breezing over large sections of reflection.
I was sad to see John Baxter move on, even though it was realistic that a man of his age would find someone new to love. I also didn't like the reintroduction of Angela Manning. It felt forced and a bit unbelievable. In a previous volume, Angela met Kari face-to-face, but in this book, she didn't recognize her. I would think, even if Angela was in self-destruct mode, she would not forget the wife of the man she had an affair with.
All that to say, on a whole, this series was very enjoyable. I made this reading journey part of my New Year's resolution since I had started reading the series when it was first released, continued to buy each volume, but stopped reading them because of other commitments. I had put Karen Kingsbury at the top of the Christian fiction writer's pedestal for years because I felt she was a ground breaking author who wrote about Christian characters that were flawed and far from perfect. But, since the introduction of the Redemption Series in 2002, so many other Christian authors have burst onto the scene with great storytelling skills. Authors like: Irene Hannon, Candace Colvert, Richard Mabry, Lynette Eason, Ronie Kendig, and the list goes on.
Anyone who says Christian fiction doesn't have the same intensity as secular fiction hasn't exposed themselves to some of these newer, edgier, authors.
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