Stephanie's Reviews > Finally and Forever

Finally and Forever by Robin Jones Gunn
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May 06, 12

bookshelves: christian-books, favorites
Read from May 04 to 05, 2012

Good book, despite an overall feeling of being rushed.
No matter how many times the slower pace of African life is referred to you can't deny that the pacing of this book was really fast.
I almost feel like everything about the book was rushed, from the writing, to the publishing.
The book doesn't suffer too much for it, though, and the story is good.

Really, telling about the ending wouldn't be much of a spoiler. It's obvious where it will wind up, especially if you've read the first three in the series. Since that's the case, I won't even bother to explain how it ends. (Though it was a satisfying end, I must say)
I do want to bring up a certain instance in the story that is a spoiler, and quite a surprising one. So, if you don't want to know, don't read the next paragraph.
At one point, in Africa, right after Katie and Eli's first fight as a couple, a certain character from Katie's past shows up out of nowhere. Her old high school boyfriend happens to be in the same place at the same time and decides to kiss her with no warning. Despite the obvious problem that this presents it's taken care of so quickly that I wondered why the author even bothered to include the incident. Obviously, it was only for the drama. I didn't enjoy that.

SPOILER OVER.
Another problem I had with this book, and frankly, others by RJG, is that if you haven't read every, single, book with these characters before this one you will be required to read through scenes involving or referring to characters that are unfamiliar to you. As someone who has read most of her books I know who these people are talking about, but I'm still annoyed. It often feels like a ploy to get people to buy the rest of her unrelated books. Yes, Katie, as a character, has been around since the early Christy Miller books, but that doesn't mean she had any connection to the characters in "Canary Island Song" or that people who enjoy this book will enjoy that one. (I certainly didn't.)
At least in this particular book RJG managed to refer to the skin color of people who were black. She seems to be overly cautious about including characters of color in her books, or if she adds them, reluctant to make it clear what ethnicity they are. I get the reluctance to offend anyone, but it tends to make the cast of her stories to be overly "white."

Not to say that I don't enjoy her books, especially this one. Katie has long been one of my favorite characters, and I love getting to see where this funny, energetic and loyal friend has wound up through the years. Eli is an interesting, spiritual, adorable character who matches well with this Peculiar Treasure. This book is definitely on my favorites shelf.
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