Monday, January 10, 2011

Review: Divine Appointments ... Christian chick-lit at its best

For the past year or so, I've been reading a lot of escapist Christian chick-lit ... as a way to rest/relax after a particularly hectic week.  Chick-lit, especially Christian, is a nice way to de-pressurize ... to enjoy a light read with a cup of coffee and (if I'm lucky) the ability to knit at the same time.  But there has always been something less-than-satisfactory about the Christian chick-lit I've read: the Christian part always seemed tacked on to the story rather than an integral or organic part of the story. 

With Divine Appointments, this "tacking on" aspect is non-existent.  Charlene Ann Baumbich is able to weave a Chrisitan story that is magical and believable and the Christian part is an integral piece of the overal1story.

First, I have to say, when I started the book, I had low expectations:  the protagonist, Josie Brooks, is the least-attractive type of career woman:  a hard-hitting, hard-driving, unfeeling, self-centered consultant who goes into companies, determines how to make them more efficient, and then recommends new systems and layoffs.  Josie Brooks, a late-40s spinster, doesn't care about the people she's recommending to axe ... she doesn't care about the people left in the wake of her project: she's off to the next assignment, a larger house, a bigger paycheck and alone.

I really didn't like her.

But Baumbich's writing and story-telling ability, wove a spell that had me cheering for Josie!  The supporting cast of characters help Josie to open up to others ... to see the people beyond the numbers ... to understand that although companies do have to "right size", the people need to be taken care of also. 

Baumbich leaves the Christian element to these supporting characters, particularly the 60-something widow who exhibits true charity ... true love of others because of her love of God.  I loved the character of Barb DeWiit -- a woman of grace who reminded me of many wonderful folks I've worked with thru the years. 

This book is a magical, wonderful escape into how the world is and how we can make it just a bit better through loving others.  A wonderful read that I highly recommend (and I got to knit while I read it!).

DISCLAIMER:  I rec'd Divine Appointments as part of the Blogging for Books program from publisher, WaterBrook Press.  The views expressed above are my honest opinion of this work of fiction.

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