Please note that Tyndale House Publishers provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes. I received no monetary compensation, and the following review is completely honest, and entirely my opinion.
This review may contain spoilers.
I enjoyed the book All Right Here: 1 (The Darlings)
by Carre Armstrong Gardner. There were many family members highlighted in the book, but Ivy and her husband, Nick, were the main characters. I could relate to Ivy and Nick, since I experienced infertility and the agony that accompanies it in the beginning of my marriage. I also went through the same feelings of guilt she did.
For the most part, I enjoyed the story line. The author is a great storyteller, and I liked the family, though I wasn’t familiar with them before this book. (I got the feeling there was a back story about this family that I missed out on, which made me want to read more about them. Because of this, I’m sure there are other books in this series that I’ve missed, and plan to check them out.)
I was quite surprised by the twist that explained Nick’s attitude and coldness toward Ivy. (I don’t want to give away too much information here.)
Unfortunately, I didn’t think the children’s behavior was entirely realistic. In my experience, even children who are extremely abused still want to be with the abuser. These kids seemed to be able to move right on without their mother, with no issues. In the same vein, I think each of the kids would have demonstrated many more behavior problems for Ivy and Nick than they did.
I also found the beginning half of the book to be written much better than the second. The first seemed to have more depth, while the end seemed to be thrown together without much thought put into it. For instance, I don’t think Ivy would have just quickly changed her mind about something she was doing, and stop it right then like she did. (Again, don’t want to spoil too much!)
I do realize that lots of holes were left, because I understand another book is coming out. I assume the next will be about Laura, Ivy’s twin (though completely opposite) sister. I don’t mind that this book wasn’t wrapped up with a nice bow, but I also stand by my thought that the end was thrown together too haphazardly. I feel it could have ended with more of a cliffhanger instead of how it did.
However, I guess my biggest problem with the book was that it didn’t seem inherently Christian. I really appreciate it when books delve into scripture and a personal relationship with the Lord. I love seeing how a Christian’s faith is lived out in a real-life way in fictional Christian books. I know this isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but it is what I prefer, and I found it to be lacking a bit in this one. I know there was praying throughout, in a conversational way, which is fine, but most of it was asking things of the Lord, but not much praising Him or worshiping Him.
I would still recommend the book to others, since it was a good, interesting read. The book definitely held my attention, and I really wanted to see how things played out. I appreciate Tyndale giving me the opportunity to read it. 🙂