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Book Review, April 2022

I like simple, straightforward, Christian romances when you know who is going to end up with whom by the end. The only unknown is how they are going to get there. Generally speaking when someone mucks up this perfect order, I get a wee bit annoyed. Okay, so I might have thrown a book across the room once, but I was teenager, and it was before ebooks.

Anyway, this book didn't just break my perfect mould; it kind of stomped on it and threw it out the window. However, I forgave the author. Why? She did such an amazing job, and to be fair, this is actually general Christian fiction not a romance. However, the blurb reads like a romance and it was shelved at my bookstore with the romances, so I assumed it was.

What it is:

The Lines Between Us by Amy Lynn Green is a General Christian Fiction that is almost like a suspense novel with a dusting of romance here and there. It's set in WW2 and written from the first person point of view of a girl in the Women's Army Corps and a guy pacifist. The location is various places in America.

The first chapter is a compilation of letters without any narration, but they were well written. I could 'see' the story unfolding in vivid detail even if it was only letters. Most of the book is a more typical narrative format with a few letters and telegrams thrown in periodically.

What drew me initially to the book:

The intriguing title, The Lines Between Us, and the cover, in particular the faint lines through the picture which I thought was a cool nod to the title. I love green and yellow together. The blurb intrigued me with the idea of two people so at odds needing to learn how to love each other. Although, I think the blurb a little misleading as it seems to be romance when it's not.

What I liked about the book:

I found the writing witty and immersive. The fictional place, people, and plot felt so plausible that I got lost in the story. But my favourite part of the book was the clear moral to the story.

The Lines Between Us shows in a parable type way that God can call different people to divergent paths without either of them being necessarily wrong (something I found rather apt in this pandemic world where everyone seems to have plenty of opinions about what is right and what is wrong). It's like a real-life application of Paul's advice to eat the food offered to idols if you think it's fine, but don't if you aren't sure. Because it's our faith, or lack thereof, that makes our choice right or wrong.

The Lines Between Us also showed how much assuming we all do when people's reasons for their choices are hardly ever as simple as we think, and that being right doesn't mean you can't live that right in a wrong way (aka forgetting to love your neighbour while trying to obey God's call on your life).

What I didn't like about it:

Amy put the date at the start of every chapter even if the day hadn't changed from the chapter before, which threw me off a few times because I thought it was a new day when it wasn't. I got used to it eventually (and sometimes just ignored the dates).

There was a secondary character who hadn't been chaste in their youth. It's not described in detail, more of a conversational confession, but I don't enjoy reading that in a story.

The girl in the Women's Army Corp liked to party and lie (frequently) which grated on my nerves. However, it was written as obvious flaws she needed to fix.

In summary:

4.5 stars

This book is complicated. It's not a light weekend read, and yet I didn't find it heavy either. It should be read with a flexible mind about the outcome. Don’t suppose you know what’s going to happen, who will be with whom, or that it will have a happily ever after ending. However, the lessons I learned from it keep coming back to me, reminding me to be a better Christian and seek God's face. So that’s why I recommend The Lines Between Us by Amy Lynn Green because it taught me something about being a better Christian, not judging others, and it continues to do so.

Other recommendations:

The above book doesn't interest you/you've already read it? Check out these other titles I've read recently.

Fawkes by Nadine Brandes - historical fantasy (confused? It's a real historical event with a fantasy twist) Not my normal reading, but I really liked it.

Choosing His Family and Raising Honor by Jill Lynn - both contemporary romances

Above the Fold by Rachel Scott McDaniel - historical romance

All That Really Matters by Nicole Deese - contemporary romance with a deep spiritual lesson I very much enjoyed. The heroine was a bit worldly in the beginning, but the author steered clear of any details which made it easier for me to move passed that to the heart of the book.

The Debutante's Code by Erica Vetsch - regency mystery with a promise of romance as the series continues, not a standalone book. Restoring Fairhaven by Carolyn Miller - contemporary romance - It had a Beauty and the Beast vibe, and I've always been a sucker for that theme. :)

A Life Once Dreamed by Rachel Fordham - historical romance

Bread of Angels by Tessa Afshar - Biblical fiction (Lydia), also not my typical genre, but I thought this one was well done.

Aster's Good, Right Things by Kate Gordon - children's contemporary general market fiction. I found it insightful into the mind of a child struggling with big emotions (anxiety and abandonment), but please note the GENERAL not Christian category.

In Search of a Prince by Toni Shiloh - contemporary, royal fiction. It's an African Princess Dairies 1 and 2. I very much enjoyed it.

The Samurai's Heart by Walt Mussell - a historical, Japanese, Christian fiction (Series is unfinished, but book 1's plot is resolved) It was a bit more gory then I typically enjoy, but it was very interesting. I never knew Japan had a Christian period. Don't let the glossary and character info scare you off. I skipped them and didn't have any problem keeping up with the book.

Northern Deception by Laurie Wood - contemporary, Canadian suspense. I really enjoyed reading something set in Canada and the suspense was good.

To Treasure an Heiress by Roseanna M White - historical romance. This is the sequel to the book I reviewed in February. At first I didn't like it at all because the 3 POV/secondary character was ruining it for me. I started skipping her plot, and my opinion improved greatly. I loved the main couple. The hero was ridiculously fun.

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