Sunday, January 24, 2010

Review of Thicker than Blood, By C.J. Darlington

If you're looking for a good read that deals with relationships between sisters, Thicker than Blood, the debut novel of C. J. Darlington is what you want to pick up. I was sent a copy to review by Tyndale House Pulishers and am happy to report I loved the book!

Christy Williams has been estranged from her younger sister, May, whom she walked away from fifteen years previously, when a terrible family situation brought a rift between the sisters. Christy's life tumbles in a downhill spirial, as she becomes involved with a sinister, controlling boyfriend. She has lost herself in the process of trying to build her life in her own way. Christy has an interesting job in a bookstore that deals in antiquarian (old) books, often bought from estate sales, but her boyfriend interferes with her life there, causing her to be charged with a crime she didn't do. (I really enjoyed learning about the antiquarian book business, what to look for to know they are first editions, etc. Especially for me as a reader and writer, the book store was a great setting.)

May has spent the last years constructing a fulfilling life on a ranch, working with her hands and building a "family" with the other people on the ranch. But she often prays for her sister Christy, wondering what has become of her and why she simply walked out of her life.

Through an interesting and realistic series of events, the two sisters reunite, though it's not with the ease of a Hallmark movie. Their world view and religious beliefs are nowhere the same, and when danger shows up at the ranch, this becomes very apparent. These are real women who have to deal with problems in their lives that are nearly as old as the books Christy deals with! It isn't easy.

Thicker than Blood covers the issues of broken relationships, forgiveness and chances to try again, and ultimate redemption. Ms. Darlington develops her characters well, so much so that there were times I wanted to shout at Christy for making such bad decisions! This book held my attention and didn't to slow down. It was one situation after another that eventually brought these sisters back in contact, with a chance to build a deep family bond.

I'm thrilled for Ms. Darlington that her book is now available. I give it four stars for an entertaining yet thought-provoking look at the possibility of broken relationships being restored.

About the Author:
C. J. began writing the story that would become Thicker than Blood (her first novel) when she was a fifteen-year-old homeschool student. She has been in the antiquarian bookselling business for over a decade, scouting for stores similar to the one described in the novel before cofounding her own online bookstore. Thicker than Blood was the winner of the 2008 Christian Writers Guild Operation First Novel.

C. J. co-founded the Christian entertainment Web site with her sister, Tracy, and has been actively promoting Christian fiction through book reviews and author interviews. She makes her home in Pennsylvania with her family and their menagerie of dogs and cats. Visit her website for more info.



C.J. Darlington said...

Thank you very much for this thoughtful, kind review, Sherrie. I greatly appreciate it!

Sherrie Ashcraft said...

You are so very welcome, C.J. It was my privilege! I had wanted to have your picture included, but extra html came along with it when I did that, and when I removed any of it, it took your picture away! So I figured it was better tyo get it posted in time than to worry about the pic. sorry it worked out that way!

Christina Berry said...

Good review, Mom!

C.J. Darlington said...

No worries at all, Sherrie. I sometimes prefer NOT to put my pic out there anyway! :) Thank you again.

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