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Saturday, December 11, 2010

My review of Someone to Blame by C. S. Lakin - this book is making the tail end of my best fiction of 2010 list!

5+ out of 5 stars for craft (impressive!), and 4 out of 4 hearts for healing and spiritual impact!

Someone to Blame: A Novel 

About the book:

When tragedy sweeps through the lives of the Moore family, each member looks for some way to cope, some means of escape, someone to blame. Desperately seeking solace, they move to a small town and are soon caught up in a string of events that forces each to face some uncomfortable truths before finding unexpected grace and healing.

My review:

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?

Someone to Blame was published by Zondervan and released in September 2010.

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