Friday, March 15, 2013

The Chance by Karen Kingsbury - REVIEWED

About the Book (from Howard Books)
The day before a teenage Ellie moved from Georgia to California, she and her best friend Nolan sat beneath the Spanish moss of an ancient oak tree where they wrote letters to each other and buried them in a rusty old metal box. The plan was to return eleven years later, dig the box up, and read the letters. But now, as that date approaches, much has changed. Ellie has abandoned the faith she grew up with, her days consumed with loving her little girl and trying to make ends meet. Sometimes she watches TV to catch a glimpse of her old friend Nolan, now an NBA star, whose faith is known by the entire nation. But few know that Nolan’s own personal tragedies have fueled both his faith and athletic drive. Despite his success, Nolan is isolated and lonely, plagued by a void in his heart that has remained since that night beneath the old oak tree with Ellie. For both Ellie and Nolan, the coming date is more than just a childhood promise. It’s the chance to make sense of it all—the chance to find out if it’s ever too late to find love again.
Karen Kingsbury weaves a moving tale of heart-wrenching loss, the power of faith, and the wounds that only a forever kind of love can heal. She delves deeply into a theme that resonates within us all: Hope lives for those willing to take a chance.

My Thoughts:

He wouldn’t fight against the one true God, the One who held both his father and his precious Ellie.  He would serve Him all the days of this life, no matter what.”  (p. 74)

The commitment Nolan makes at this point in the story comes on the heels of some pretty tragic and heartbreaking circumstances. Yet it is this commitment to God that makes all of the difference in Nolan’s life.  It is a commitment that all believers face at some point in their lives, and it is the only thing that carries us through the trials that come to each of us.

Ellie’s life also takes some tragic and unexpected turns at the very outset of this story.  The friendship she shares with Nolan is one much more significant that either of them ever imagine.  Yet Ellie doesn’t share his faith, and she takes a much more difficult path.  Her choices are indirectly affected by the poor choices of her parents. 

Each character in Karen Kingsbury’s novel, The Chance, tells a poignant, sometimes heartbreaking, story of families that suffer the consequences of their misguided choices for a period of several years.  I think that’s what I appreciated most about her story, because she realistically takes the readers through a natural progression of events.  The redemption that does come to these characters isn’t all nice and neat, but it is a true picture of the grace afforded to all sinners.  Yes, sin has consequences, but grace and mercy can redeem the vilest sinner.  Christ alone finds us where we are, and what we interpret as Chance is most often the hand of God answering the prayers of His children.

I am happy to recommend The Chance to readers!

About the Author:
#1 New York Times bestselling novelist Karen Kingsbury is America’s favorite inspirational storyteller, with more than 20 million copies of her award-winning books in print. Her last dozen books have topped bestseller charts and many of her novels are under development as major motion pictures. Karen lives in Tennessee with her husband Don and their five sons, three of whom are adopted from Haiti. Their actress daughter Kelsey is married to Christian recording artist Kyle Kupecky.

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