Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Book Review: Sunset by Karen Kingsbury

About the book:

A New Chapter

With the demands of Hollywood life behind them for now, Dayne and Katy Matthews continue to adjust to life in Bloomington as they look forward to a new chapter together - expanding their family. Meanwhile, the entire CKT staff is busy preparing for the first production in Dayne and Katy's theater.

A Time of Uncertainty

The Flanigans rally to support Bailey and Connor as they try out for lead roles in the musical, but then the family receives tragic news that weighs heavily on everyone's mind. At the same time, Jim Flanigan faces a decision that could drastically change his family's life.

A Beautiful Beginning

As John Baxter prepares for his marriage to Elaine Denning, one of the Baxters enters the most trying season of all. Will a time of renewed love and hope be strong enough to establish the sacred ground of marriage and chart a course for the future? And when the time comes to finally sell the beloved Baxter house, memories of times gone by meet with the changes of today, proving that only the support of faith and family can take a person into the sunset years of life.

My thoughts:

Wow, I cannot believe that this is the end of the Baxter saga!  14 books devoted to a specific cast of characters was very reminiscent of the Left Behind saga (16 total books), but I enjoyed every second.  While I must admit that the first set of 5 books that made up the Redemption series was my favorite, I'd have to say that this final book was probably my favorite of the last 9 books.  It tied up (most of) the loose ends for the Baxter family, and even had a very nice surprise at the end that I was not expecting. 

When there are sooooo many characters to shuffle through, it's typical to want to know more about specific ones and less about others.  I found that to be the case with Luke and Ashley.  I wanted more of the Luke/Reagan story and less of the Ashley story.  Ashley has been featured so prominently throughout the whole series, and by the time I finished this book, I was tired of her.  Her life was full of ups and downs that, after awhile, became unbelievable.  Luke's story, on the other hand, was one that I couldn't get enough of.  At the beginning of the book, he and Reagan were on the verge of ending their marriage.  Their journey through this one book had me in tears by the end.  And if their story wasn't enough for me to have an all-out sobfest, John's complete reconciliation with Elizabeth's death and his upcoming marriage to Elaine was enough to do me in.  Yes, the stories are so sappy that they're syrupy (sp?), but they're a great escape from real life.

I will always stand by my opinions that Karen Kingsbury's first few novels were some of her best, but this was one of her newer ones that was quite good.  It did seem to be a little preachy, but those moments tied in well with the overall story.  My rating for Sunset is 4 stars.

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