Once in a Blue Moon
The latest in the series of books i have been able to get from publishers through the Librarything Early Reviewers. I’m not quite the target audience for this book, as i wasn’t for the first Early Review one i read; i think it’s rather more aimed at the young, female, Christian type, much as the books by Lori Wick and Robin Jones Gunn that Abigail likes so much. This is all right, as it happens, as Abby picked up the book while it was on the dining room table, and is now reading it; it will be interesting to see how she feels about it ~ if i can, i’ll get her to review it, too.
So, preliminaries out of the way, how did i feel about the book? Actually, despite my being well outside the target audience, i really quite enjoyed it, overall. There are points i can pick on, and will, but by and large, they are outweighed by the pleasure of the character development, and the quirkiness of some of those characters. There are some caveats, to be sure, such as the very title itself, which links to that annoying and recent definition of a “blue moon” as two full moons in a single calendar month, and says how very rare that is when, clearly, it isn’t. Also, the actual ending of the book is a little annoying as it tries to imply coyly that perhaps there is something to all the conspiracy theories, after all.
Mention of the conspiracy theories leads me to a point that i really liked about the book, and that is the lovely link it draws between the beliefs of the two main male characters: Howard used to work for NASA, and now lives convinced that a huge conspiracy of undetermined (or undefined, at any rate) form is the reason that they haven’t continued to go to the moon; his son, Sam, was (or is? it’s never quite resolved) a preacher, albeit a flawed one. This belief of the younger Walters is the key to the book, the reason why Ellis has written it, as it is the reason Wick, Gunn and others write: To promote their world-view as normal, whole, possible and, indeed, desirable.
It is in this purpose of promoting Christianity’s view, i have to say, i found Ellis quite good and pleasing. She does not by any means beat her readers about the head; Sam is clearly flawed ~ he’s divorced, after all ~ but he is capable of resisting temptation; Bryn Seymour, the protagonist, is self-aware, but not necessarily capable of stopping herself from doing silly or destructive things; the religion is, in fact, done with a very nice light touch. Bryn doesn’t even, for example, have to say the Sinner’s Prayer before Sam baptises her (in a hotel fountain, no less!); this lack, alone, is enough to give me pleasure, as i have had a great many qualms about that process/structure of Sinner’s Prayer ~ faith confession ~ baptism, over the years. All in all, i would have to say that Ellis probably succeeds in her goal of writing an enjoyable Christian romance for young ladies.