I was recently given the opportunity to review the latest book of Marlo Schalesky, Shades of Morning. I have never read a Christian novel and I honestly had my doubts….
Marnie Wittier, the main character, is a women that has spent the majority of the her adult life running from her decisions. She is a Christian woman and obviously loves God but is unsure about His love for her. It is when Marnie’s sitter dies in a very odd accident that she is faced with her past and is forced into a new reality. She suddenly finds herself as a mother of a boy with Down-Syndrome and back in contact with her one and only love, Taylor Cole.
It is through this reality that God works and shows Marnie that her past transgressions are indeed in the past and He loves her regardless.
This book is typically not my “cup of tea.” I took me a long time to actually get involved with the characters. Each one, except Emmit, was lost in their own world of regrets. They were constantly playing the coulda, woulda, shoulda, game and the flashbacks were almost overwhelming. I do understand the need to describe the past situations however every time a character entered into a flashback I cringed when they returned to reality. Marlo would spend pages describing the feelings of regret and loss associated with the these “memories.”
It seemed that every character, except Emmit, felt as if they had let someone down and they were swimming in a pool of shame which was really disappointing because the overall concept of the plot was pretty good. Marnie and Taylor have a past that can resonate with almost every reader and Marlo added some twists that actually kept me guessing in the end….but that was the problem, it was the END. I do believe that she could have added some intriguing questions to the real reason why Marnie and Taylor were running so hard from each other instead of plopping it all down at the end.
Overall, I would say this is an average read. Marlo did a great job at describing the love and grace that God has for us. The Lord does show Himself in some extremely hard trials and it is through those times that we are forced to let go and truly trust in Him. Spiritually I believe he is right on but the characters were driving me crazy.