Monday, July 06, 2009

Blog Tour: Review of Sunset Beach

I'd like to thank Blog Tour Spot for offering me the opportunity to read and review this book. If you aren't familiar with how book bloggers receive review copies of books, let me briefly explain. Contact is generally made through email. You get on people's lists and they email you with offers, which you are free to accept or reject. The offers generally have a short blurb about the book to help you make your decision. Obviously they want the books to go to people who are likely to like them. Once you've accepted a book, it shows up a week or several weeks later.

When Sunset Beach appeared in my mailbox, I had forgotten what it was supposed to be about. I took a look at the lovely beach sunset on the cover, which also features a bright pink pair of flip-flops and figured it was a light beach read, fluffy, fun and not much substance. I was mistaken.

Sunset Beach is about a recent college graduate who, when asked what she wanted for graduation, told her mother that she wanted the two of them to spend the week together in a beach house. Her mother, an accomplished singer, agrees. The daughter, Sonny, a psychology major, has an ulterior motive. Her mother has always been secretive about the rest of her family and Sonny recently hired a PI to locate her aunt. Sonny invited her aunt to spend the weekend with them. Sonny wants to learn the family secrets. Her mother shows up with her protege in tow. This protege is a bulimic kleptomaniac. She is also the sister to the guy Sonny had a summer romance with five years ago. His sister invites him to drop by.

There is a lot of hurt and pain in these people's lives, and of course sharing secrets is the first (but painful) step to healing. The book is Christian fiction and I'd say moderately so. The religious aspects aren't forced, but the book could stand without them. They are explicit, particularly when dealing with forgiveness and redemption. Chastity before marriage is explicitly advocated. I guess what I'm saying is that it is a good story, but if overtly religious messages bother you, this isn't the book for you.

As I said, it was a heavier book than I expected, based only on the cover, but it was an enjoyable read.

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