Friday, June 17, 2011

Book Review: Canary Island Song by Robin Jones Gunn

First, pause for *squeeeeeeeal* about receiving this not yet published book of my very first favorite author! She asked on her newsletter if any bloggers would be interested, and I was like, "YES!! Pick MEEEE!!!"

Ahem. Okay, let me compose myself. I should give you guys a little history: when I was 13 (14 years ago), still living in Brazil, I discovered her Christy Miller Series. Back then, you couldn't find Christian teen novels, at least not contemporary ones that were as fun as hers. I was so hooked that, for my 16th birthday, I asked for 12 of her books ordered by Amazon (since not all of her series had been translated to Portuguese yet). So for entire 6 months, you'd only find me buried behind them, which probably hurt my social life, come to think about it. But I never noticed. It was an absolute dream.

The reason I mention this is that in Canary Island Song (which is for an older audience), there's not one, but two people who've been mentioned in her teen series. I think all of her longtime readers will agree with me that it's created an addiction that will not go away. We will forever wonder what happened to Christy & Todd, Katie Weldon and Sierra Jensen. Aah... I feel like I'm talking about my high school best friends. Which is making me sound more like a nerd. So back to the new book.

Another cool thing about it is that the main character lives in San Francisco (though she's out on a trip for most of the story), and I live in this area (just about an hour away). Also, Robin's description of the Canary Islands kind of reminded me of my homeland. Not exactly - the culture is still different, but just the concept of a more laid back approach to life. I think there is more of a mindset to enjoy life than I find here in the States. Though honestly, I don't think one place is better than the other, they're just different! But reading this book actually made me homesick, which I didn't anticipate.

I liked the character's transformation on her trip, but during the middle of the story I think I just missed more interaction between her and Brian. I think the author wanted to focus on her healing first and then unravel their relationship, but I found myself reading as fast as I could just to get to their dates haha. But I guess that's just me - I'm an EAGER reader. If you give me a potential couple in the beginning, from then on all I'll be thinking is, "have they kissed yet??" :) What I've been trying to learn is to enjoy the ride (also as a writer).

To sum it up, it's a lovely story about how we need God's healing in order to move forward and enjoy what's next in our lives. Oh, and I almost forgot to mention: Robin's an ending expert. Even if you can already tell where she's going, she makes it happen in a way that still surprises you. Then you're like: "I knew they'd end up together, why am I tearing up??" Because she's an artist, that's why. And because she writes with her heart.

So without further ado, here's the publisher's description:

When Carolyn’s grown daughter tells her she needs to "get a life," Carolyn decides it’s time to step out of her familiar routine as a single woman in San Francisco and escape to her mother’s home in the Canary Islands. Since Carolyn’s mother is celebrating her seventieth birthday, the timing of Carolyn’s visit makes for a perfect surprise.

The surprise, however, is on Carolyn when she sees Bryan Spencer, her high school summer love. It’s been seven years since Carolyn lost her husband, but ever since that tragic day, her life has grown smaller and closed in. The time has come for Carolyn to get her heart back. It takes the gentle affection of her mother and aunts, as well as the ministering beauty and song of the islands to draw Carolyn into the fullness of life. She is nudged along by a Flamenco dance lesson, a defining camel ride and the steady gaze of Bryan’s intense blue-gray eyes.

Is it too late for Carolyn to trust Bryan? Can Carolyn believe that Bryan has turned into something more than the wild beach boy who stole her kisses so many years ago on a balmy Canary night?

Carolyn is reminded that Christopher Columbus set sail from the Canary Islands in 1492 on his voyage to discover the New World. Is she ready to set sail from these same islands to discover her new life?

Author Bio
Robin Jones Gunn is the much-loved author of seventy titles that have sold more than four million copies worldwide. Her popular Christy Miller series and Sisterchicks® novels have won a number of awards, including three Christy Awards for excellence in fiction, and a Gold Medallion Award finalist award. Robin's unique destination novels transport readers around the globe. To ensure that her tales of these extraordinary locations ring true, Robin has enjoyed the privilege of traveling to each location in order to experience the local culture. Her three visits to the Canary Islands provided bountiful research as she took flamenco dance lessons, rode a camel, and visited the chapel where Columbus prayed before departing on his famous journey. Robin and her husband have two grown children and live in Hawaii.

You can order this book on Christianbook here. It will be released on 07/05/11.


Ms. Blasé said...

Sounds like an amazing book! I'm so glad that you found this author years ago because truly good reads (and by "good" I mean life-changing) can be difficult to come by.

"...we need God's healing in order to move forward and enjoy what's next in our lives."

That was my very favorite line from this post. I guess it's because I'm still learning how to enjoy God, myself and life in general. I have a tendency of taking everything so seriously and sometimes that makes it hard to laugh and to see the positive things that are all around me.

Thanks for sharing this book.

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