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I had purchased the book for a teenager believing that it would be a wholesome love story. In the secular world it would probably fly but in true Christian writing it was a sham. I don't mean to imply that it was not a wholesome love story -- it did fill that category. It also had all the right buzz words to probably merit the Christian rating however... I guess I have to explain; It would be hard to say that the old school friend who arrives in town with two children was truly "born again" if she could leave her husband. The use of a St. Christopher's medal is also a little disconcerting. I suspect that was done to please the Catholics but I doubt it would have made any difference to leave it out. It was encouraging to have the comment added that the hero did not have to rely on the medal. Then there is the issue of The Angel--it was so much like the fairy tale delivered in the TV program, Touched By An Angel. There wasn't any reference to how one is born again. I have read more Christian material in secular books than there was in this one; read the Testament by
John Grisham and see what I mean--there the truth is presented -- and it is an excellent read, full of suspense and yes, even a hint of romance.
I will not be giving this book to my teenage friend. In fact, I would like to return the book to the authors, I wouldn't want it said that I gave this book to anyone, especially anyone who might be mislead into believing that Christians divorce and real people walk about and disappear. That's more fiction than I can stand. Real Christians have the Truth and know the Truth when they read it.
April 19, 2008
Rating *** ½ (3.5 Stars)
Michael Landon Jr's debut novel ONE MORE SUNRISE focuses on a man, Joe Daley, whose life did not follow the route that he had mapped out as a young man. The story opens in August of 1941, and young seventeen year-old Joe is intent on sneaking out of the house in order to meet his girlfriend Meg. He is in love and wants to surprise her with a plane ride and a marriage proposal. It is a romantic scene out of the movies, and at this point in his life, Joe feels that he has the world at his feet, a future bride, and a promising future.
Chapter two jumps forward to the summer of 1958, and Meg is reminiscing about high school, remembering the joy she had felt before she and Joe were married. However, the years since then have been difficult. Meg rarely sees Joe, and when she does they argue. Joe spends most of his time either at work (if there is any) or in bars, and all he can think about is how pitiful his life has become. Meg does her best to keep the family together, but the longer things continue the more frustrated and unhappy she becomes.
Luke Ramsey, a former admirer of Meg's, shows up in town after having moved away with his family due to something his father had done. Luke claims he wants to make up for his father's actions years ago. He is offering the farmers in town a better life, and this includes Joe and Meg. However, Joe doesn't want anything to do with Luke, not at first. He isn't sure he can trust a Ramsey.
What really changes Joe's life happens while flying his plane. He nearly loses his life, but when something hits the plane in flight, he promises God that he will change his ways if he lives. Joe does survive the crash, but finds it hard to keep his promise to God, and unfortunately Meg doesn't believe he will keep his promise either.
This reviewer found ONE MORE SUNRISE a good inspirational story aimed at an audience that also enjoys historical fiction. While it's not the best Christian fiction this reviewer has read, Michael Landon Jr. shows promise as a Christian writer and may make his mark in the world of Christian fiction. Choosing a time period from the past probably helped Landon write a better-suited story line for the Christian reader. His style is reminiscent of the type of television programs his father was famous for, family-oriented stories with sometimes a moral at the end.
The overall story was strong enough to keep this reader's interest, with various story lines coming together to make one cohesive tale. The characters, while in some ways clichéd, were developed enough that they felt real, with the dialogue realistic as well. Some readers may find they will have to suspend disbelief at times, but these events in the story line are crucial for the over-all novel to work.
What was probably most important in the book that kept this reader's attention was the main character, Joe. He was a man who had a promising future, but failed miserably to take the path that God gave him, and make it the best he could. Instead, he could only see the bad side of things, and was having a hard time letting go of a past that kept him from succeeding in life. Joe was not a perfect person, and with his failings he helped make this story of redemption work. In real life, however, the outcome of his life may have turned out differently, but this reviewer felt that the story ended properly for the type of book it was.
Minor characters stand out, especially Joe's son Danny and Zach, one of three foster sons that move to town with Meg's high school friend Norma. They make up a subplot that is as important as the one that follows Joe's story.
For readers who enjoy Christian fiction as well as historical fiction, ONE MORE SUNRISE is a good choice. While not the perfectly written book, the story is solid enough to keep the reader's interest. Some may not find that all the characters in the story are perfect Christian role models, but this reviewer feels that these characters were realistic and are the type of people we would encounter on the streets. Portraying less-than-perfect people is what makes this a real story, and not a fairy tale. ONE MORE SUNRISE is recommended. - Courtesy of Love romances and More - M. Lofton