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Shades of Blue
by Karen Kingsbury

Reviewed by Deena Peterson

"If you're a fan of Karen's writing you'll be pleased with this one as well."

I remember when I worked for a Christian bookstore and we had just received a shipment of Karen Kingsbury novels. The publisher had included a special promotion: packages of tissues with the logo of the book embossed on the wrappers! At the time I found it a bit cheesy, I've since learned that it is nearly impossible to get through an entire Karen Kingsbury novel without tearing up at least once.

In "Shades of Blue", Karen tackles the subject of premarital intimacy and the after affects of abortion. Brad Cutler has a dream life---a great job as a hotshot advertising executive, an upcoming marriage to the boss's daughter and all that life could offer him. His relationship with his family is solid, and his future looks secure.

So why is he wrestling with his past, and only six weeks away from his wedding?

Emma Landon turned her back on God years ago. A tragic breakup and a life that seemed to be spinning out of control left her with more questions than answers. She hasn't been too impressed with how God cares for His children. Watching two of the sweetest people in her world suffer with life-threatening illnesses has nearly shattered her remaining faith.

Can she ever move from the pain of the past to go forward into a promising future?

Karen handles the issues mentioned above discreetly and with heart. The book is well-crafted and the characters are well-developed. Even the cover art is appealing for this particular novel.

My only issue is that the story feels so familiar. I've read over a dozen novels by Karen Kingsbury, and I finally began to choose different authors simply because it began to feel like same song, different verse. And having your heartstrings tugged constantly can become painful to the point of distaste after awhile.

However, just because I don't care for the story doesn't mean it's poorly written. If I could write half as well as Karen Kingsbury I'd have nothing to complain about! I just don't desire the "Hallmark Moment" feel that I get from reading the book. I prefer more variety in my fiction.

All of this to say, while this isn't my kind of story, I’m still giving "Shades of Blue" four out of five bookmarks, with a package of tissues as a charm. If you've never read a Karen Kingsbury novel, this is a good one to start with. If you're a fan of Karen's writing you'll be pleased with this one as well.

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Deena PetersonDeena Peterson is the mom of 8, with an active two-year-old grandson! She's also a pastor's wife, worship leader, Bible study leader, and homeschool mom. She stays so busy she meets herself coming and going! Visit her at her blog A Peek At My Bookshelf.