Thursday, March 28, 2013

Threads of Hope by Christa Allan - REVIEWED

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Threads of Hope
Abingdon Press (March 1, 2013)
Christa Allan


A true Southern woman who knows that any cook worth her gumbo always starts with a roux and who never wears white after Labor Day, Christa is a writer of not your usual Christian Fiction. She weaves stories of unscripted grace and redemption with threads of hope, humor, and heart. Christa is the mother of five adult children, a grandmother of three, and a brand new retired teacher. She and her husband Ken live in New Orleans with their three cats and do their best to dodge hurricanes.

And, since she is not fond of writing about herself in third person, she asked her oldest daughter to contribute. Like her mother, Erin is not at a loss for words…


Passed over for promotion and dumped by her boyfriend, Nina O’Malley is further frustrated when her editor assigns her one of the “soft” stories she despises—covering a gala benefit supporting the AIDS Memorial Quilt. More determined than ever to prove she deserves a promotion to the NY office, Nina decides to write a series featuring a local quilting group raising money for AIDs research. At the event, she runs into her high school nemesis: Greg is a widower and the adoptive father of Jazarah, an HIV positive girl from Ethiopia. Unlike Nina, Greg has faith in a loving God, and he trusts in God’s plan for his life. Greg and Nina grow closer, and as Nina interviews the quilt families, she begins to question the choices she has made and her lack of faith. Nina suddenly finds herself facing two possible dreams, two paths for her life.

My Thoughts:

You know, there are times when I read a book and am left really torn.  Threads of Hope is a book that leaves me…well, torn.  I loved the story itself, but quite frankly, Nina O’Malley just got on my nerves.  Why?  Well, for starters, she reminds me too much of myself at that age. The girl just has all of her priorities in the wrong place and almost misses God’s best for her out of pure stubbornness!  Truly, I spent most of the book really wanting to smack the girl!

But that’s a good thing when it comes to writing.  Christa Allan has created realistic characters that can get into your heart and under your skin.  Nina has many opportunities to serve others, to make a difference in others’ lives through her writing…and what does she do?  Well, I can’t tell you or I’ll ruin the story, but suffice it to say, there are a few nail biting moments toward the end of the story.

That said, there was an element to this story-telling that just about drove me up a wall.  One minute you were reading along…then you suddenly take a hard break with the present and are getting back story on a character.  It happens within the chapter most often (sometimes going from chapter to chapter) and I kept having to stop and think to myself, “What? Where am I? Who is this? How did I get here?”  I found the back story to be interruptive in the way it was presented rather than it blending naturally and almost unnoticed into the story line.  That’s just my personal preference, but in this story, it sort of kept me disconcerted and distracted.

I could launch into a litany about Greg and Elise and some of the other characters that play key roles in Nina’s life, but I’ll let you discover them on your own.  Christ Allen creates strong characters!! That I love!!  I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!  I hope the story gives you pause to consider life outside your personal comfort zone and challenges you to reach out to others in a selfless way.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Threads of Hope, go HERE.

1 comment:

Christa Allan said...

Thank you for your review of my novel. If it helps at all, I wanted to slap Nina several times myself!