Friday, July 3, 2015

The Wonder of You {a Tyndale House Blog Network review}

If you have read my blog for any length of time, you know I am a huge fan of Susan May Warren.  I particularly love anything she writes that is set in Deep Haven, MN.  And I have truly loved reading the Christiansen Family Novel series.

So I am thrilled to have the chance to review The Wonder of You, which is the fifth book in this series.

This is totally my favorite of the bunch.

Each of these titles focuses on a different Christiansen sibling.  The Wonder of You is mostly about the baby of the family, Amelia. 

Let's just go for the publisher's description here:
Mortified after her semester abroad is cut short, Amelia Christiansen returns to Deep Haven, certain she isn’t brave enough for the adventures she’s dreamed of. The last thing she expects is for the man who broke her heart to cross the Atlantic and beg forgiveness.

Heir to a European hotel dynasty, Roark St. John has trekked from one exotic locale to another, haunted by tragedy and the expectations that accompany his last name. Amelia is the first woman to give him a reason to stop running. He’ll do anything for a second chance—even contend with Amelia’s old flame, who is intent on sending Roark packing.

While one surprise after another leaves Amelia reeling, Roark’s continued presence only highlights the questions pursuing her. Like him, is she running from the life God has called her to? Could finding her new place mean leaving home behind?
The last book ended with Roark St. John showing up at the Christiansen's home, and Amelia's siblings ran him off.  Everyone assumes that is the end of it, but Roark didn't see his relationship with Amelia as a fling, and he is determined to win her back.

Meanwhile, Amelia has gone back to dating her high school beau, Seth, the man everyone expects she will marry. 

When Roark makes it clear that he is in Deep Haven for the foreseeable future, things get interesting.  Amelia doesn't know what she wants, with two very good men both quite interested in her.

My thoughts:

What I really love about this particular series is watching Mom and Dad in their responses to their adult children.  Also, what is happening in the lives of the other siblings is always a part of the story here too.  Derek and Ivy (Take a Chance on Me) are expecting a baby.  Eden and Jace (It Had to be You) are married and not a huge part of this story.  Grace and Max (When I Fall in Love) are struggling after having eloped.  Casper and Raina (Always on my Mind) are apart, as Casper is out looking for Owen, who will be the focus of You're the One that I Want.

It isn't just the family, though, as various folks around town were the subject of many of Susie's other Deep Haven novels.  At this point, for me, it is like catching up with old friends.

This book is different though.  Both of Amelia's suitors are upstanding, likeable fellows, and as you go along, it is easy to see her ending up with either of them.  At many points in the book, I could imagine it ending either way, and I knew I could feel satisfied with the outcome whichever way it went.

As always, Susan May Warren weaves some amazing Christian messages into the book, if you take the time to think about them -- or to read the author's note and questions at the back.  A big focus in this book is failure -- failing yourself, failing God.  And dealing with the self-doubt that comes when you can't forgive yourself for not being perfect.

I highly recommend this story, and the entire series.

Disclaimer:   I received this book for free from Tyndale House Publishers.  No other compensation was received.  The fact that I received a complimentary product does not guarantee a favorable review.

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