Saturday, February 28, 2009
Only Uni: My Review
First of all, I'd like to thank author Camy Tang for sending me an autographed copy of this book. If you like winning books, check out her website; she always has some sort of contest.
Only Uni is book two in a three book series. The first was Sushi for One, which I reviewed last year. The books are about four Asian Christian cousins who live in California. They are the only Christians in their extended family and good friends too. Their grandmother wants them all married with children and applies not-so-subtle pressure to make that happen.
Trish is the main character of this book. She is a biologist (Camy's previous career)and has just broken up with a man her grandmother hoped she'd marry. He wasn't Christian and was moody and possessive (sounds like a poster child for an abusive husband, who just hasn't hit yet). After "sleeping" with him after breaking up with him, she decides its time to get serious about her faith. She reads Corinthians and makes up three rules for herself. She is going to only date Christians and quit looking for a man, tell others about Christ and will persevere in hardship by relying on God (who she figures then will bless her with a good man). Unfortunately, her ex doesn't go away and, with Grandma's help, comes close to stalking her. Also, she has a hunky co-worker who shows interest in her.
This book is very much Christian. It is by reading the Bible that Trish comes up with these rules. She gets very involved at church. Her friends are there and she gets involved in many ministries. She is basically trying to earn her way back into God's grace; she feels like a fallen woman. There are a couple of somewhat surprising twists but the book has a pretty happy ending.
Something I found interesting is how Trish's fornication is dealt with. Despite what I've found to be a common Evangelical belief that one sin is no worse than the other, Trish realizes that fornication is NOT the same as telling a while lie or thinking impure thoughts about her boyfriend. Even before the consequences of her fornication are clear, she realizes the wall it placed between her and God. Catholics call that mortal sin and require that it be confessed, in private, to a priest--yes God can forgive without confession if there is a reason, but the normal way to deal with mortal sin--sin that is serious, that we know is serious when we commit it and which we freely choose to do anyway--is through the Sacrament of Reconciliation a/k/a confession. That is for our sake, not His. We know we are forgiven, we hear the words "I absolve you...", and we are given a penance to do AFTER we are forgiven, again for our sake, not His.
Is this a book you would enjoy? Maybe. I liked Trish and the hunky guy with whom she worked. I didn't like her ex (and I'm pretty sure that's what Tang intended). I liked the story of the two guys in her life--one she knew was bad for her but to whom she remained attracted and one she didn't want to let in because she wasn't looking for a relationship (but still wanted one). However one of the main threads in the story is how her sin effects her spiritual life and so the spiritual aspects of the book are front and center. If that bothers you; this isn't your book. If that is a plus, I think you'll think this one is a winner.
Click here to read the first chapter.