Friday, March 2, 2012

Review: Interrupted: A Life Beyond Words by Rachel Coker

Title: Interrupted: A Life Beyond Words
Author: Rachel Coker
Publisher: Zondervan
Publish Date: March 1, 2012

Can love really heal all things? If Sam Carroll hadn't shown up, she might have been able to get to her mother in time. Instead, Allie Everly finds herself at a funeral, mourning the loss of her beloved mother. She is dealt another blow when, a few hours later, she is sent from Tennessee to Maine to become the daughter of Miss Beatrice Lovell, a prim woman with a faith Allie cannot accept. Poetry and letters written to her mother become the only things keeping Allie's heart from hardening completely. But then Sam arrives for the summer, and with him comes many confusing emotions, both toward him and the people around her. As World War II looms, Allie will be forced to decide whether hanging on to the past is worth losing her chance to be loved. ~ Courtesy of Goodreads

Allie is a troubled young girl. Taking care of a sick mother while she's dying, being sent away to Maine directly after the funeral. She had a right to be troubled. But she hangs on to her pain so strongly. She won't allow people in. Won't allow anyone to see her pain for what it is. She pushes everyone in her life away. It was frustrating to see how she hurt everyone who loved her away just by being distant.

I was not at all a fan of how coldly everyone treated Allie. Sure, they were nice to her and all, but no one ever spoke to the girl about how she felt. Her mother just died! And before that she'd been living with the stress of taking care of a sick woman. She was only fourteen, why did no one feel the need to console the poor little thing? It seemed like a huge oversight. The only person who even asked her about her mother was Irene at the end of the book. Talk about being years late with that one. No wonder Allie was so closed off to people.

I really enjoyed all of the characters in Interrupted. Irene was such a character. She was so spunky with her hot pink everything. Including a car. In the '40s! I didn't know they made anything hot pink in the '40s but hey! It totally worked for Irene. Sam was just adorable, following Allie around since they were kids. He was love-struck and you could totally tell. Charlie was just so cute I felt like I wanted to pinch her chubby little cheeks.

The fact that the story revolves around World War II intrigued me. Seeing these girls sitting at home, waiting to find out if they'd ever see their sweethearts or fiancées or husbands ever again was tragic. I've never read a book about what happened on the home front during the war, and most movies are about the war itself. This gave me a fresh perspective on what it means to be in a war. These women were put through so much. Most were either newly married or engaged, some were expecting children. And none knew if they'd ever see their significant others again. It really moved me to see a little bit of what they went through.

Interrupted does become a little bit religious towards the end, but I honestly can't say that it was a bad turn. Allie begins to find religion and starts to read the bible. In the story, it's what Allie needs to change who she is. Allie is basically learning about God and the bible for the first time since her mother didn't believe in God. I didn't feel it was so much preaching as it was Allie discovering a way to deal with her pain and fears. The only thing I can say is that when Allie finally does breakdown and ask God for help, she sure sounds a lot like a practiced Christian for someone who has supposedly hated Christians her entire life. That was my one little pet peeve. To me it just seemed to make Allie's character a little less sincere in her prayers.

All in all, I was very impressed with Coker's writing seeing how young she is. Despite being occasionally overly cheesy, Interrupted was a sweet and heart-warming novel. I found myself smiling through most of it and crying through the rest. And isn't that what makes a book great? I recommend this book to anyone looking for a quick read that will lift your spirits.

Add Interrupted: A Life Beyond Words to your Goodreads.


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