Wednesday, March 31, 2010

As Young As We Feel by Melody Carlson - Guest Review from Mocha with Linda!

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

As Young As We Feel

David C. Cook; New edition (March 1, 2010)


Melody Carlson


Over the years, Melody Carlson has worn many hats, from pre-school teacher to youth counselor to political activist to senior editor. But most of all, she loves to write! Currently she freelances from her home. In the past eight years, she has published over ninety books for children, teens, and adults--with sales totaling more than two million and many titles appearing on the ECPA Bestsellers List. Several of her books have been finalists for, and winners of, various writing awards. And her "Diary of a Teenage Girl" series has received great reviews and a large box of fan mail.

She has two grown sons and lives in Central Oregon with her husband and chocolate lab retriever. They enjoy skiing, hiking, gardening, camping and biking in the beautiful Cascade Mountains.


Is there room in one little hometown for four very different Lindas to reinvent their lives … together?

Once upon a time in a little town on the Oregon coast lived four Lindas—all in the same first-grade classroom. So they decided to go by their middle names. And form a club. And be friends forever. But that was forty-seven years and four very different lives ago. Now a class reunion has brought them all together in their old hometown—at a crossroads in their lives.

Janie is a high-powered lawyer with a load of grief. Abby is a lonely housewife in a beautiful oceanfront empty nest. Marley is trying to recapture the artistic free spirit she lost in an unhappy marriage. And the beautiful Caroline is scrambling to cope with her mother’s dementia and a Hollywood career that never really happened. Together, they’re about to explore the invigorating reality that even the most eventful life has second acts … and friendship doesn’t come with a statue of limitations.

If you would like to read the first chapter of As Young As We Feel, go HERE.

Watch the Video:

*I did not receive my copy of this book, but I trust Linda's discernment when it comes to fiction. I too have had an on again, off again experience with this author's work, and I appreciated Linda's thoroughness and honesty in the review. I felt it was worth sharing, and it is indeed an honor to be linked up with her today!

My Guest Blogger Buddy Linda's Review:(From her blog Mocha With Linda!)

MY THOUGHTS: Melody Carlson is a prolific author; I've enjoyed some of her books (and my girl loves the teen books she writes) but I've been underwhelmed with others. As for this one, I'm a bit conflicted. I couldn't resist signing up to review it since it's about four women named Linda -- although each has gone by her middle name since they were all together in first grade. I enjoyed the storyline as the four gals met again at their 35th high school reunion and coped with the challenges of their very different lives.

Chapter titles and focal emphases alternate between the four women, but because they are all interacting with each other, it didn't seem choppy or difficult to switch my focus from one chapter to the next. Friendship among women is celebrated in this book as they work through some of their lingering (from school days) issues with each other and recognize the value of their friendship. As much as I enjoyed the story, several aspects bugged me a bit.

For one, the faith element is minimal. Prayer was mentioned once or twice, at which the other individuals expressed surprise - not hostility, just indifference. Since this is the beginning of a series, I hope that it is further developed. Additionally, in one scene, Abby's mother, in a discussion with Abby about sad toll that Alzheimer's has taken on Caroline's mother, indicated that suicide would be her choice if she discovered that she were losing her own mental facilities. While she didn't use the word suicide, her comments still supported the concept of euthanasia. Her daughter seemed a bit surprised at this but shrugged it off that her mom was always a little quirky.

Finally, Marley's son is gay, as is her boss. While that is a current reality in our world today, I wish the issue had been handled differently in the book. There was no indication that anything was amiss with that lifestyle. Marley seemed to view her son's partner as a son-in-law; each time she talked with her son, she would send greetings of love to his partner. I know many parents struggle with how to love a child unconditionally while speaking truth about the choices that child is making; I would have preferred it being portrayed that way rather than the politically correct, tolerant, "anything is fine" viewpoint that those scenes seemed to convey.

The above issues are a relatively small part of the story, but they keep a good book from being great. I am interested in what happens in the sequel and hope that the faith element and the book's social concepts are strengthened. I enjoy edgy fiction containing relevant topics, searching individuals, and non-believers, but it's important to me that a Biblical worldview is at least presented. Otherwise nothing sets it apart from any other secular book


Mocha with Linda said...

Love your review - oh, wait. . .! LOL Thanks for having me today!

Andi said...
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