Not one to fritter away my time reading fluffy fiction stories, I was disappointed in this "Christian" book. I want to read a story that is going to lead me to worship the Lord, convict me and/or teach me some truth. This book seemed to portray "I'm-a-Christian-in-name-only," rather than a sold out "Jesus-is-my-first-love" kind of lifestyle.
Stretch Marks by Kimberly Stuart is a humorous look at the way pregnancy changes and stretches a woman. Mia is very happy with her life, for the most part. While her job as a social worker doesn't always fulfill her need to change the world, she pays close attention to her carbon-footprint, eats organic, does yoga, and has a live-in boyfriend, Lars. Everything changes when her unexplained nausea and fatigue turns out to be a pregnancy and Lars leaves in the night. While Mia tries to make a new life for herself and the baby-to-be, her mother, Babs shows up to help. Babs is Mia's antithesis with her frosted hair, artificially enhanced features, and love for meat, leather, and plastics. Mia will be stretched to her limit making peace with Babs, her new body, and just maybe the cute guy at the grocery store. Several reviews are slamming Stuart for keeping the faith bubbling below the surface without the overt mentions that most Christian fiction has in spades, but I think that this makes Stretch Marks far more marketable to the secular reader. Stuart portrays Babs' faith and church realistically and gently sands down Mia's agnostic edges without ever alienating the reader. The novel is funny and moving and full of spot-on mother/daughter angst. Mia is a delightful character who will shatter readers' preconceived notions of tofu-eating/free trade buying/climate change activist.
Every now and again I come across a book that is a pure treat! Stretch Marks is just that humorous, poignant and honest to a fault. Kimberly Stuarts writing is fresh, energetic and timely. Following the heartache of an unplanned pregnancy and the tension of a difficult mother/daughter relationship, Kimberly plumbs the emotion and conflict that results. Unique characters inhabit Mias neighbourhood and show their support with love and tenderness as she comes to terms with becoming a mother. A touch of romance and the joy of healed relationships, make Stretch Marks a delightful journey. I will be certainly be looking for Kimberlys backlist.
Interesting characters, emotional, extremely well-written, but no punch in a solid Christian message. This was a Wal-Mart off-the-shelf secular book with a sprinkling of good and godly thoughts. Even the paraphrased and italicized biblical references were from the Book - not the Bible. Talk about PC. Disappointing Kimberly couldn't send out a strong message; especially to precious Flor, that Jesus can be her anchor and loves her unconditionally!