The Moore Family recently moved to Breakers, a small town in the Pacific Northwest, fleeing the heartache of lost loved ones. Their family is fragile, and one wave crashing them against the cliffs could break them - unless the walls around their individual hearts came down.
Billy Thurber has recently shown up in town, as well, selling firewood off the back of his pickup truck. When he arrives, so does trouble. The people of Breakers don't like the glare in his eyes or the attitude he carries. So when the trouble starts, all the fingers point to Billy_except for one.
Will one person's compassion set Billy's heart free from his past? Will the once-quiet town of Breakers find peace again?
In Someone to Blame, C.S. Lakin provides a full cast of characters with real issues. She provides just enough description for the readers mind to envision the coastal fishing town and the surrounding mountains, allowing the reader to imagine the rest. I enjoyed the small-town pace of the book. The action is just enough to keep one wondering what's coming next, if anything else could go wrong, and who's to blame for what the town is going through. Once the action peaks, it drops off again as evidence from the once sleepy town is revealed. But keep reading, because the end of the story is the best part of the book.
Lakin sprinkles revelations of God's love, grace, and forgiveness throughout the story. The tale she tells moved my heart more than once.
Someone to Blame is a fresh story filled with twists and turns resembling the coastal roads it is set against. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it, and I give it four out of five stars.
Having been through the tragic deaths of both their sons, the Moore family decides on a fresh start in a small coastal town. But they soon find they cannot escape the bitterness, unforgiveness, and blame still weighing heavily on each of them. But when a young, disagreeable stranger shows up in town around the same time as a spree of petty crimes and becomes persona non grata, the Moore family has a chance to learn about grace and forgiveness.
A gripping story with strongly sympathetic characters, this seems to be a compelling lesson about compassion, forgiveness, and wrongly judging others. However, I couldn't help but notice the author's liberal ideology seeping through to the subtext. She seems to strongly imply that America is to blame for most of the world's inequality, that our country looks for opportunities to exploit the disenfranchised, and that those who prefer country living and also treasure our Constitutional rights to protect our lives and property are actually trigger-happy vigilantes. This kind of "blame America" mentality and stereotyping seems to directly contradict with the larger moral of the story.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Zondervan as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
Do you have any preconceived notions about people and circumstances? I think we all do and those notions will be tested as you read this book. Are we quick to judge, read the signs wrong? Probably. Here is a family that has been tested like Job, pushed past the point of breaking and they leave behind everything they've known and move to a new home. All they need is a fresh start to try and put the pain behind them right? As they settle in they are quickly presented with similar situations and it brings the past flying back in their faces. How will they deal with it. A hurting dad, a devasted mom and a daughter trying to keep the good memories from fading away - can forgiveness and healing really reign in this situation? I like the way C.S. Lakin wraps the book up, she pulls everything together and reveals little things that make the story open wide. It is a women's fiction book that will keep you guessing until the end.
Right off the bat, let me tell you that this is a good read!
No parent should have to bury their child, but the Moores have this burden. They decide to move, hoping that a new location will give them a fresh start. However, their feelings, memories, and guilt go with them. Although this may sound depressing, the book is not. The author reveals a bit of their past here and there.
The tension-laden plot is paced such that the pages almost turn themselves.
The characters are well-rounded--like folks we already know. That Billy Thurber gave me the creeps! Teenage Casey loves Shakespeare, and the author creatively intersperses connections to his literature into Casey's thoughts.
Although the classification is Christian fiction, it's not preachy; therefore, all readers should like this one.
I loved the way the author handles the final four chapters, revealing the previous three months. This settles all unanswered questions.
Don't miss this one!
Thank you to Bonnie at Christian Fiction Blog Alliance and Zondervan Publishing for my copy.
Rarely do I find novels that make me want to stay up all night reading. Well, I didn't stay up all night with this book, but I did start early in the morning and read the novel through to the end. Yeah, without stopping. I couldn't put the story down, it was that good. Not just because the prose was amazing, or because the story flowed so well, but because the story had heart. That's something I miss seeing in a lot of books. It seems like a lot of authors would rather be safe and keep the message lighthearted and fun. That's no doubt a reflection of the current economy. People want an escape when times are tough like they have been lately. But not me. I like stories that make me think. Make me feel. Make me care. I love stories like this one. Ironically, the cover was a total turnoff for me, and my husband saw the book and said, "What a nice cover." So you never know. A lot of things are a matter of taste, I guess.
Anyway, I'd much rather read a meaningful "high concept" type of story like Someone to Blame. It carried so much impact as it hit my heart dead center. This story will knock you off your feet, especially if you think you stand. Think about pride coming before a fall. The message in Someone to Blame could knock the most sure footed (self-righteous) person off center. But that's a good thing when it makes you examine your own heart. I can totally see this book as a movie. One that would make it to the Academy Awards even. It had so much depth. I loved the fact that the story contained a number of points of view. It was so much more effective because of that perspective. Like God, you could see inside everyone's heart and mind. Unlike in other books I've read, this approach with multiple viewpoints didn't confuse me at all. It was clear whose head you were in with each chapter. That was so well done. I could literally hear the characters talking in my head.
As far as the story goes, it's difficult for me to tell the things that really touched my heart and made me think without giving away the story (I hate reviews that are spoilers.) So this is my pitiful attempt to reveal without revealing... Things aren't usually what they seem. It's easy to react on emotion and cause irreparable damage as a result. Don't let your heart get so hard that you stop caring about others. Reach out to those in need and don't worry about what it will cost you. That's it. So what do you think of that, eh?