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Leaving (Bailey Flanigan Series) Paperback – March 15, 2011
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I gave this book five stars because it was written with excellence on every front--normal characters who lived normal lives, experience full emotion and real joy or pain, and the story moved forward. It never bogged down. Every time I put the book down, I couldn't wait to get back to read what was going to happen next.
"Leaving" is about the oldest daughter in a family of 6 children from 21 to 13. Bailey is a talented, beautiful young woman who loves the Lord and plans to act and dance in musicals on Broadway. Her prayers are said with tenderness, compassion, and daily she shares her desires with her Heavenly Father, and hears His voice in response. She is an evangelist, and one of her strongest desires is to find Christian fellowship and lead others through personal encouragement to love the Lord and walk strongly in His ways.
Bailey is a loving family member. She is in close daily connection with her mom, and shares everything with her. Their closeness is inspiring. Her dad is a loving parent who prays with and for his family daily.
As Bailey is taken to the airport, the story of the family members goodbyes is most touching. It also ends the first of a four book series, so to read on to the next part of her life, Karen Kingsbury has written "Learning". I'm on my way out the door to pick up that book.
Many of us have followed Bailey and the rest of the Flanigan family ever since the "Redemption" series. We've watched Bailey grow into the beautiful young woman of God that she is. Yes, these are fictional characters. But after many years and several series, they've begun to feel like friends. The characters inspire us to be better mothers, siblings, children, and friends. With so many broken families, it's comforting to read about families that are loving toward each other.
I've also had strong opinions about Bailey's relationship--or lack thereof--with Cody. Obviously, as this is the first book in a series, there is not a final resolution between the two of them. In fact, at the end of the book, we are left wondering if indeed the two of them will *ever* end up together. There are potential love-interests for each that could be made to work. I wasn't originally thrilled about this when I heard about it (before reading the book), but after reading about Brandon's relationship with Bailey and Cheyenne's relationship with Cody, I'm extremely intrigued to see what Ms. Kingsbury will do with these relationships in the remaining books.
"Leaving" is an enjoyable read and I cannot wait until later this summer when the next book in the series, "Learning" comes out.
This was a anniversary gift to her. 38 wonderful years!
Karen Kingsbury writes about love, 2nd time around relationships, stronger relationships based on beliefs and fully open, spirit-filled lives. I guess she knows a lot of people like that in her life. In this book Bailey leaves the mid-west for an amazing Broadway opportunity. Then the fun starts with old and new guys all interested in her and what she sees in life that is important.
This was a great book, as always, and am looking forward to the next one, "Learning." The "Longing" and "Loving" and..., and...