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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

My review of The Good Girl by Christy Barritt

About the book:

Tara Lancaster can sing Amazing Grace in three harmonies, two languages, and interpret it for the hearing impaired. She can list the Bible canon backward, forward, and alphabetized. And the only time she ever missed church was at seventeen because she had pneumonia and her mom made her stay home.

But when her life shatters around her and her reputation is left in ruins, Tara decides escape is the only option. She flees halfway across the country to dog-sit, but the quiet anonymity she needs isn t waiting in her sister s house. Instead she finds a knife with a threatening message, a fame-hungry friend, a too-hunky neighbor, and evidence of...a ghost?

Following all the rules has gotten her nowhere. And nothing she learned in Sunday School can tell her where to go from there.

My review:

I always enjoy Christy's books because of the humor. She is great at building anticipation and getting the reader to nibble on fingernails. There were a number of laugh out loud moments that I had to read to my husband to see if I was just weird, or if it was truly as funny as I thought. For example: sometimes the author would end a chapter with a statement like, "At least we didn't have a ghost in the house." Then in the beginning of the next chapter it would say, "We had a ghost in the house." I find that hilarious.

The internal dialog about worrying about what other people think rather than being genuine is a good lesson for everyone. Same with the "is this for show or so much part of my culture that it's what I do" versus "is this what I really believe?" lesson. I appreciated the many spiritual nuggets of truth in this book. I loved the mystery part of the story and I don't even read them normally, but the author always makes them funny and interesting, yet with a spiritual lesson that runs pretty deep. That's not easy to do.

The entire story -- besides being humorous -- is woven into a plot full of wrong perceptions, which is what always makes for a great little mystery. The truth always comes out in the end and the unraveling of the truth by the amateur sleuth is what makes it fun. I loved the healing theme and the message about judging and being judged. Plus, Cooper was just plain hot. I wanted him to bond with Tara in a way that lasted more than just the few weeks she was staying at her sister's house. In the end, it all boiled down to trust.

The more I read stories about a deep abiding love, the more I see that trust is a key component to that type of love. This novel showed that well. If you love humorous mysteries with a touch of romance, this book should turn your crank.

The Good Girl was published by Whitefire Publishing and the e-version released in March 2013. The paperback releases in June.

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