Gayle Roper has given us a story that explores the depths to which evil men can fall while also pointing out the redemption that is available through Christ alone. Through the pages of one of the very best novels I have ever read, Gayle points her readers to a great and mighty God as she takes her characters through the depths of devastating circumstances, grief, despair, bitterness and, ultimately, the joys of forgiveness and wholeness in Christ.
Shadows on the Sand is excellent on every level. The story line is well developed and moves along at a crisp pace, the characters are real and have depth causing the reader to care about them and the writing is as near to flawless as a writer can come. From the very first page, Gayle ropes her readers and pulls them in. She then takes them on a whirlwind of tightly woven events that bring into focus one thing: God's glory.
If you only read one novel in Christian fiction this year, let it be this one. You won't be disappointed.
DISCLAIMER: I was provided with a free kindle book by Blogging for Books for purposes of review. I was not required to give a positive review, only a fair and honest one.
Love, suspense, secret pasts, real faith versus falsified faith, Shadows on the Sand has it all. Sisters Carrie and Lindsay have run away from their past and made a decent life for themselves in the small tourist town of Seaside. Carrie is just beginning to see signs of returned interest from Greg, a former cop slowly returning to life after living through an unspeakable tragedy. Andi is a teenager working with Carrie, having also run away from a life that she refuses to speak about. Together the characters work together to forge healing relationships and strengthen each others' faith.
I really enjoyed this book. What I loved most was that the main characters were already Christians who were struggling with very real issues. There was no "aha!" moment, there were just people showing their faith through their lives and struggles. They stretched each other to let go of their pasts and trust God for their futures.
The storyline of the murders and the man behind them was a bit dark for my tastes, but it didn't go as far as I feared, and so it didn't ruin the book for me. The love story was sweet, although perhaps a bit abrupt from the "I've barely noticed you," to the "I've fallen for you" phase. There was still some uncertainty, and they both had to resolve some things in their past to make the relationship work. I liked that they were honest with each other, and that they worked at understanding each other.
Overall, I give this book 4 stars. It had enjoyable characters and a sense of real faith; I would recommend it to fiction fans!
I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.
Each day for the last little while, I looked forward to the time I'd set aside to read Shadows on the Sand by Gayle Roper. Today I read nine chapters instead of the five I'd planned on. As with most books, the action speeds up toward the end. It became more and more difficult to close the file. And now I'm done.
Action. Suspense. Drama. Romance. It may sound cliche, but Shadows... really does have it all. Several chapters end with dramatic cliffhangers that compelled me to read "just one more chapter."
I very much enjoyed how the author reveals the characters' backstories. It isn't easy, but Ms. Roper does so in a natural way. Plus, she doesn't reveal information unnecessary to the story. Kudos!
And speaking of natural...The characters are real, three-dimensional people. Their struggles, joys, victories, and defeats go beyond believable. They make them people readers can relate to.
The situations could happen in real life, and in fact, they do - some pleasant, others definitely not. Compelling me to read about realistic situations I would prefer not to think about is one mark of good writing. I don't want to read about this. It's too scary, too possible. But I can't not read further. I knew that would be the case when the topic of a cult and it's clever, manipulative leader was introduced.
There are a few problem areas that stood out to me. Some of the vocabulary in the first few chapters seems out of place. I'm all for looking up words I don't know, but not those in a novel I'd take to the beach to read on a lazy summer day. While the author uses only one point of view in each chapter, the bouncing around was a little distracting, as was the fact that only when she is in the female protagonist's head does Ms. Roper use first person. Finally, some of the similes seem unnatural. I doubt they would go through the POV character's mind.
While, in many ways, the book ends as I would expect, not everything is wrapped up nice and neat with a bow on top. Life doesn't happen that way, and neither does this novel.
I would definitely recommend this book to friends and would give it three-and-a-half stars out of five.
I received a free copy of Shadows on the Sand from Blogging for Books in exchange for this review. I love free books - even electronic ones.
Finally!! I have been able to take a little "me" time to finish a book! I am so glad that I chose to finish this book. It is a great book and so easy to read and just get lost in the story. Shadows on the Sand is a murder mystry and a romance all wrapped up in one. How could it get better than that?!
Carrie is the owner of a cafe and she has a secret crush on one of her customers. The only downfall, she doesn't think that he feels the same. As the story unfolds, we learn about each of the characters dark pasts and the choices they made may just come back to haunt them. The author of this book did a great job of portraying what it means to call scripture to mind in various circumstances. Her charachters also displayed what it means to have a conversation with God. Instead of taking ten minutes of their day to pray for everything they think about, they offer up short little prayers throughout the day. A great example of what our daily lives should look like.
This book was so much fun to read, and the twists and turns keep you wondering exactly what is going to happen up until the last few pages. I would recommend this if you have some free time and are wondering how to fill it up.
I received this book for free from Waterbrook Multnomah for this review.
Gayle Roper has a history of writing novels that in my opinion involve the reader from the first sentence of the book to The End. And Shadows on the Sand is no exception.
Once again Gayle uses the first person point of view for the main character, Carrie in a remarkable way that made me feel i was in the picture, watching and flinching with her as her waitress used her hands to tell the story. The other characters stories are told in third person, except for the villain whose story is also told in first person point of view, but always in italics. This makes it easy for the reader to differentiate between characters. Gayle does a great job of dealing with all manner of issues in a profound way.
It seems Gayle is not afraid to tackle stories that might not be politically correct. In this novel, she deals directly with the issue of cults and how they differ from biblical truths. adultery, dysfunctional families, runaways and forgiveness, all in the perfectly 'real' setting of life.
All this, and the story of salvation clearly explained without sounding preachy and in-your-face.
She has a lot of characters, and at one point i was a little confused about who the one was, and what relationship he had to some others in the story. Very well told, and definitely enough suspense to keep you turning pages rapidly!
i am well able to recommend this novel to anyone who loves a good romantic suspense. Although it is part of the Seaside Mysteries, it is totally able to stand on its own.