Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me. I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)
The Gustafson girls are certainly quite a bunch of women. After reading about Juliette and the ManDates her sisters sent her on, I looked forward to seeing more of this bunch in Renata and the Fall from Grace by author Becky Doughty.
Renata (Gustafson) Dixon is the married sister of the group, experiencing the joys, the annoyances, the heartache, and the different facets of love found in wife and motherhood. As in the first novel of the series, the story makes way for the Gustafsons’ G-FOURce meetings and the one-of-a-kind protocol that those entail, and as much as the sisters may disagree and clash, the way their ultimate bond shines through, in big ways and small, is a pleasure to see.
This isn’t always the case for me when I read, but the parts of this novel that most drew me in were the most tragic, and the scene that put me in tears had its own beauty. I’ll admit I never exactly warmed up to Renata’s independent and pretty prickly character, the swinging of her moods blindsiding me a time or two, but she’s human and understandable, and it helps that she’s self-aware. I’m not sure that I saw an inward, individual growth for her as pronounced as the changing of her circumstances, and an aspect of the novel’s romance left me wanting a little more time to get used to it. I also ran into some language I wasn’t ready for, but a good amount of the Dixon children’s comments, questions, and antics had me smiling.
Oh, and a particular glimpse of a man stepping up and being a man in a tough family situation, teaching someone else something about what it means to be a man, had me all the way pumped.
I could go on. And I will go on, as I find this author’s writing to be consistently real and accessible, and I fully intend to read the next book in this series when it releases. I’m more than intrigued to see what’s in store for the next Gustafson girl, Phoebe.
See my review of the next book in the series, Phoebe and the Rock of Ages.