book, Book Review

The Wonder of You by Susan May Warren

About the Book:Book - The Wonder of You
Author: Susan May Warren
Publisher: Tyndale
Source: Publisher Provided ARC
Publication Date: 2015
Find the Review elsewhere:
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Find the Book Elsewhere:
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Series: Christiansen Family, Book 5
Genre: Fiction; Contemporary
Rating: 4 out of 5

Review: In the realm of inspirational fiction, family sagas are currently enjoying popularity. One of those series is penned by award-winning author Susan May Warren, who took on the challenge of writing about more than the typical three siblings (three book series). Her world features a family of six. This is the next to last book which takes us on “baby” sibling Amelia’s journey. Her story was teased at the end of Always on My Mind. In fact, it was such a good here’s-what’s-to-come (because anytime you hint at a British hero, I’m in)  tease that I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this beauty. Returning to this haven that the Christiansen family calls home to catch up with this family is always a pleasure. Giving Amelia a British gentleman intent on proving himself to her? That’s icing on the cake. Amelia’s story picks up after she returns from overseas having felt betrayed by Roark. But little did she ever dream he’d follow her to the north woods of Minnesota nor does she know just who Mr. St. John really is.

Stripped down to its most basic heart, Amelia’s story is lovely. I enjoyed the slow building her relationship with Roark enjoys and since they already have a history, everything that goes down in her hometown is easy to accept without suspending our believable meter of truth. Amelia, I think, is actually one of my favorite siblings. She’s young yet, but there’s so much maturity and wisdom in that head of hers. But… getting the “bad” out of the way, I think the only facet of the story that I didn’t completely enjoy was the “competition” involved in the love story and by proxy, Amelia’s flip-flopping emotions. I don’t want to give anything away which is why I probably shouldn’t say much more, but there is something left to be desired about certain events that take place… and that’s really all I can say.

A lot takes place in a limited number of pages (there’s a 60+ page discrepancy between the ARC and finished copy). Life or death situations present characters with choices they’d rather run from (often with the end result of God convicting them). There’s an emotional upheaval kind of story going on in Grace and Max’s life, experienced through Max’s viewpoint. I always did find their story particularly heart wrenching (in a good way, if that makes any sense) and being able to walk with them for a short time in this new season was really sweet. Never fear, there is lots of joyful interactions between Amelia and her suitor, and I must say, Roark just might be my favorite character vying for the heart of a Christiansen yet. A sweet contemporary novel that uses the strength of family, love and God to shine, The Wonder of You falls easily into line as another special kind of story from the pen of Susan May Warren. With each proceeding novel before this, there have most likely been challenges for each story, but I think the author saved the most challenging for last. Why? Because it’s to be Casper’s story and with his checkered past – part of which hits very close to home, I suspect his will be a special kind of redemption story.

Synopsis: 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? – Goodreads

Sincere thanks to the publisher for providing a complimentary ARC copy of this book for reviewing purposes.

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