Thursday, September 23, 2010
White Roses by Shannon Taylor Vannatter
I had the good fortune to read Shannon's book this summer and wrote reviews that will appear on Amazon.com, Goodreads.com, Shelfari, and BarnesandNoble.com when the book releases later this fall.
I've re-printed my review here if you want to read what I thought of Shannon's book. Join me on Friday as Shannon shares the last part of the story--the wedding day.
Book Review of Shannon Taylor Vannatter's White Roses
How could anyone know that one fateful day, one selfish choice, one man could cause the ripples of grief to reach into so many lives? In Shannon Taylor Vannatter's Christian contemporary romance, White Roses, we are introduced to two families--Pastor Grayson Sterling, his young son Dayne, and his sister Sara; and brother and sister team, Mark and Adrea Welch.
A drunk driver left Grayson without his beloved wife and Dayne without his devoted mother two years ago. Sara steps in to try and help her brother, but Grayson can't seem to get over the loss of his wife. Longing for some time to focus on Dayne and heal from his loss, Grayson convinces his church to hire an associate pastor. Enter Mark Welch and his beautiful and loyal sister Adrea. In a unique turn of events, Grayson comes face-to-face with the florist who has been creating the arrangements of white roses he ordered for his wife Sara. The arrangements he faithfully presented to her during their life together, he now leaves at her grave.
Grayson and Adrea find themselves unable to deny that their pain and loss on Valentine's Day three years before is the only thing drawing them together. But fears and secrets, all grounded in the past, seem determined to drive them apart.
Vannatter, a pastor's wife, knows the ins and outs of church leadership and uses that knowledge to give the reader glimpses of the real-life struggles and humanness of those called into ministry. In a refreshing, easy-to-read style, Vannatter shows the reader true-to-life believers wresting with the same things we all do: fear, doubt, forgiveness, and anger. There are no squeaky clean, never-fail Christians in this book. Rather the reader will meet believers trying to do the right thing, sometimes succeeding and sometimes failing, in the face of difficult circumstances. The reader is likely to recognize himself or herself in one or many of Vannatter's unique characters.
Vannatter develops both the story and the characters to a satisfying conclusion, teaching us all a lesson about trusting God and remaining faithful even in the midst of the most heart-rending circumstances. Readers of contemporary romance will enjoy the believable characters and the universal themes portrayed in this delightful story that is compact enough to enjoy in a weekend or even one late-night read.
Nikki Studebaker Barcus