I think I have read every novel Karen Kingsbury has written. I'm a fan. So I was thrilled with the opportunity to get my hands on Karen's latest novel Leaving. Leaving picks up the story of Bailey Flanigan, one of the main characters in previous series.
Leaving is an incredible story about a girl trying to determine the direction that God is leading. Should she stay in Bloomington? Should she pursue a Broadway role in New York City? Should she move to California to pursue Hollywood? Is God opening the door to a new relationship and closing the door on an old one? As Bailey comes to terms with leaving everything familiar and starting over again.
Kingsbury is just as moving as ever. Her writing evokes real emotion and reminded me why I fell in love with her stories years ago. The events throughout the novel are fairly realistic and she's not afraid to put a beloved character through a difficult time. At times, the way some of the stories are resolved seem a bit cheesy ... but sometimes that's life! Also, I love that the Flanigan family is based on Kingsbury's own family.
Leaving is the first novel in the Bailey Flanigan series, but it's not the first story featuring Bailey and the Baxter family. If you want to start from the very beginning (which is what I would recommend), start with the Redemption series (Redemption, Remember, Return, Rejoice, Reunion), the Firstborn series (Fame, Forgiven, Found, Family, Forever), the Sunrise series (Sunrise, Summer, Someday, Sunset), and the Above the Line series (Take One, Take Two, Take Three, Take Four) before diving into Leaving. BUT Kingsbury does a great job filling in some of the gaps if you want to start with Leaving.
I would highly recommend Leaving or any other book by Karen Kingsbury!
I received a free copy of this book from Zondervan in exchange for my fair and honest review.
Leaving, by Karen Kingsbury. Well, this was an interesting book to read and review. However, I'll have to admit that in the beginning, I was SOO tempted to give up on this book. I mean, it was a cute story, easy to read (which is good because some books are nice, but way too complicated.) I also think that everyone will be able to relate to the message, one way or another. But that said, sweet saints, where was the drama??. What really keeps me in a story is to be able to anticipate what's going to happen, but in the beginning, it's so picture perfect and sometimes the character's next move was so obvious, even as things were 'moving' to fast, if you ask me. However, somewhere along the way, she got my attention. I mean, I could feel it when the Blake family was fighting for Landon's health even while Cody was getting ready to take on the football team for Jesus and Bailey, living her dreams, with her family and all.. (Three cheers for the fact that it's based on the author's family.) I began to love every one of those God-given characters, living for Him, though twist and turns. And have mercy, there's even a rich Hollywood star, living for Jesus? She's a genius! Great! You know at some point, you have to give this author's book a try, when you keep seeing her name in Christian Fiction. She's a sweet woman, and a writer good at making the characters come alive in a story. (got me tearing up, in the end.) I'm definitely looking foward to Cody and Bailey's next adventure! Beautiful love story, anyone?