Friday, February 13, 2009

This Side of Heaven by Karen Kingsbury ~ FIRST WildCard

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today's Wild Card author is:

and the book:

This Side of Heaven

Center Street (January 6, 2009)


New York Times bestselling author Karen Kingsbury is America's #1 inspirational novelist. She's written more than thirty novels, ten of which have hit #1 on bestseller lists, and her Center Street novel Just Beyond the Clouds hit #13 on the New York Times bestseller list. There are nearly seven million copies of her award-winning books in print, including more than two million copies sold last year alone. She lives in Washington state with her husband, Don, and their six children, three of whom are adopted from Haiti.

Visit the author's website.

Product Details:

List Price: $14.99
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Center Street (January 6, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1599956780
ISBN-13: 978-1599956787


This was a pretty emotional book for me. Whenever a book causes me to look at my parenting over the past 17+ yrs I know that there's going to be a lot of reflection. That was absolutely the case with Karen's book.

At the beginning of This Side of Heaven we're introduced to Josh. He's a young man who's life hasn't gone quite the way his parents had hoped. Having been in an accident with a drunk driver, Josh is trying to win a settlement and with those winnings open his own towing company and find a way into "possible" daughter's life.

Josh's parents Annie and Nate are focused on Nate's re-election and their son has been a somewhat disappointment. He hasn't gotten the college degree he should've gotten, he didn't marry the girl he loved in high school, and they know he's probably addicted to pain killers.

From the beginning, Karen pulls our hearts into this novel. It's a story no family wants to live through. How would we deal with a child who doesn't live up to what we believe they should? What if their lives don't follow the course we know they are smart enough for? What if one of our children chooses a life that doesn't fit with our own?

Thankfully, Josh's sister still tries to support him, but isn't as involved in his life as much as maybe she should be. Josh has an attorney who really cares for him and the case. He has also met someone on Facebook who really believes in him and gives him unconditional love.

A fantastic element that Karen brings into this story is Carl Joseph, Daisy, Cody, and Elle from Just Beyond the Clouds. That was an unexpected treat for me. I don't know any other author who brings characters in from other books, aside from Karen and Cathy Marie Hake.

My prayer for all of us as parents, and as Karen shows through this story, is that we never get so disconnected and disappointed in our children, that their neighbors know more about them than we do. That we will always see them as God does.


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