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Shades of Blue Paperback – October 14, 2009

4.6 out of 5 stars 261 customer reviews

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The Secret Healer
In the fourteenth century, opportunities for women are limited. But spirited young Madlen can't resist her gift for healing, even if it puts her life in danger. Learn More
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The author of more than 40 bestselling fiction titles whose combined sales hover near 15 million, Kingsbury takes her loyal faith-based fans on an exploration of the emotional and spiritual effects of abortion. Interestingly, the author frames the story through a young adult male character, Brad Cutler, an up-and-coming ad agency executive; he revisits a former relationship in which he encouraged his pregnant girlfriend to have an abortion. Years later, Brad continues to feel guilty, and as he readies to marry his fiancée, a new ad campaign for baby clothes has immobilized him. Emma, the former girlfriend, also cannot move past what happened. As the pressure mounts, Brad travels home and reunites with Emma to find closure, but what he discovers in the encounter is far more different than he hoped or expected. Kingsbury tackles a touchy, difficult topic, yet in her characteristic style, her gentle approach wins the day. It will also overcome any reader resistance, no matter what position one takes on this volatile issue. (Nov.)
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Review

The author of more than 40 bestselling fiction titles whose combined sales hover near 15 million, Kingsbury takes her loyal faith-based fans on an exploration of the emotional and spiritual effects of abortion. Interestingly, the author frames the story through a young adult male character, Brad Cutler, an up-and-coming ad agency executive; he revisits a former relationship in which he encouraged his pregnant girlfriend to have an abortion. Years later, Brad continues to feel guilty, and as he readies to marry his fiancée, a new ad campaign for baby clothes has immobilized him. Emma, the former girlfriend, also cannot move past what happened. As the pressure mounts, Brad travels home and reunites with Emma to find closure, but what he discovers in the encounter is far more different than he hoped or expected. Kingsbury tackles a touchy, difficult topic, yet in her characteristic style, her gentle approach wins the day. It will also overcome any reader resistance, no matter what position one takes on this volatile issue. (Nov.) -- Publisher’s Weekly
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (October 14, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 031026622X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310266228
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.9 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (261 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #329,989 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By LMS on October 20, 2009
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I love to read. I like books of all stripes. There is not one particular genre that I favor. I just love the written word. I love reading Christian fiction and Karen Kingsbury has long been one of my favorite authors. Her stories are real. She is not afraid to deal with difficult issues like depression, drunk driving, cancer and addiction. The characters in her books could be real people. They have real and complex problems. For the most part, Karen refrains from offering pat answers and easy solutions.

This novel tells the story of Emma, Brad, and Laura. Brad and Emma were in a relationship 10 years ago, and Laura is Brad's fiancee. Brad comes to realize that he has a lot of unresolved issues with Emma and can't move forward in his life with Laura until they are resolved.

The people in this novel suffer deeply and are hurting. They all react differently to the situation. Ultimately, this is a book about forgiveness, redemption, and healing. But those things do not come easily. All 3 characters are surprised at how the story turns out. Karen Kingsbury's books have a way of grabbing your heart and refuse to let go until the last page is turned. I read this book in one sitting. I just couldn't wait to find out how the story would end. Her stories are well-written with engaging, realistic characters.

If I have one complaint about Kingbury's writing it is this: A lot of the time, I think things end up resolved a little too neatly at the end of her books. This book is no exception. I just don't think it's possible for such profound pain, anger, and shame to be faced and processed in a single weekend. Real life doesn't work that way. Healing and restoration take time. Can God heal completely in a single weekend? Absolutely! He is all powerful and can do anything!
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Format: Paperback
I usually love Karen Kingsbury's stand-alone books, and that is why I was so excited to read her latest book. With beautiful stories such as A Thousand Tomorrows and Between Sundays, I couldn't wait for my copy of Shades of Blue! The book deals with the abortion issue very sympathetically, and I applaud her treatment thereof. However, the book itself was a disappointment -more so because I actually bought it as opposed to getting it from the library. Other than the crisis issue - Brad coming home to apologize to Emma for their mistakes of a decade ago - everything else was too neat and tidy. Brad's parents are loving and understanding, Laura's parents are loving and understanding, Laura (after her initial shock) is loving and understanding, Brad's counselor is available (for free!) and loving and understanding. Who in life could possibly receive so much support? That would be more than ideal, but I suspect that the majority of readers could only dream of such a supportive scenario. And, as a Christian book, I think this depiction makes the book flawed. Yes, God often uses the encouragement and support of others to get us through difficulties, but how many times do we find ourselves in situations where people fail us and God is truly our ONLY Counselor and Confidant? I will continue to read Karen's books, but I'll make sure that the next one is from the library!
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This is my first Karen Kingsbury book, and it might well be my last. I'm usually not a negative person, though you might not know it to read some of my reviews. This book was downright unbelievable in many regards. I am a Christian, and I do believe in the basic premise she was promoting in the book. Several things irked me (spoilers ahead)...

1. The characters are flat - Brad is Mr. Wonderful, handsome, charming, successful; Laura is Ms. Reese Witherspoon lookalike, Christian Bible study princess; Emma is Ms. gorgeous, alluring, untouchable, teacher lady; Gavin is low-key Mr. super-Christian who will go out of his way to befriend the lonely teacher lady; Mom and Pop James are rich doting parents who totally support the young princess and spared no expense on her wedding

2. The story's not realistic - Brad and Emma grow up together, date in high school, become sexually active soon after he graduates high school, she ends up pregnant; things get weird b/t them; he takes her an abortion clinic and even pays for the procedure. Her mom dies soon after; he shows up for funeral then leaves her life for 9 years. Why does he return? Because he's about to get married and now he's feeling guilty and needs to apologize in person; Brad returns; Emma who pretty much gave up on God is swept up again by Brad but this time she finds her way back to God and peace. Did I mention, her miraculous heart-healing took place in the space of 3 days? Let me run that by you again - 9 years of running from her pain; 3 days - boom, heart on the way to healing. I'm not saying a miracle couldn't happen, but I highly doubt having the guy who abandoned her so soon after 2 traumatic life experiences would send her sailing down the river of peace. And another thing, Laura's supposed to be Ms.
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I am not a huge Karen Kingsbury fan, but the subject matter intrigued me- a young couple that decided to have an abortion instead of keeping and raising their child. Although they had purposed to avoid a sexual relationship, the young couple in the book get emotionally and physically involved. The book retraces their past and the steps that led them to a physical relationship- isolating themselves, deep emotional involvement, even small details that set them up to go further than they wanted to. The book also shows the sadness and emptiness of a physical relationship without the commitment of marriage and, of course, the deep pain caused by an abortion, for both Brad and Emma. The author's notes at the end are particularly personal as well. I think teen girls should read this book, not as a warning, but as a glimpse into the pain going "too far"- not just physically, but emotionally as well. Kingsbury included this important piece- even after finding forgiveness from God for their past, they still have a lifelong connection to one another because of their past. Becoming "one flesh" with anyone besides your future spouse means giving a piece of yourself away to that person forever. Highly recommended.
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