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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

A Book Review: {Beneath a Southern Sky} by Deborah Raney

Usually, I would give you an "about the book" synopsis at this point in my review.  In the case of this book, I would rather have not known anything about the premise of the story before reading.  I'm the type of reader that likes to see the story unfold as I read.  It's for this reason, that I try really hard not to read book blurbs.  There are many times I've read the back of a book, and thought, "Oh, I wish they wouldn't have put that there, because I would have rather found that out while I was reading."  Generally, I look at the overall consensus on or, and then I kind of skim the reviews, for fear that I might find out too much about the story -- thus ruining the reading experience, in my opinion.  

So what about you?  Are you the type of reader that likes to know what the story is about before you read the book?  If not, don't read the following synopsis.  In this particular case, I think the blurb gives too much of the story away.  And don't worry, I won't give anything away in my review.  ;-)

"Deborah Raney reminds us that God's ways are not our ways…but His paths lead to fulfillment and joy."
--Angela Elwell Hunt, author of The Note and The Heirs of Cahira O'Connor series
About the book:   After two years of serving as a missionary in a remote area of South America, Daria Camfield has returned to the States to mourn her husband, reportedly killed while providing medical aid to a neighboring Colombian village.

One family discovers how God can redeem any tragedy.

At first, Daria finds comfort only in the daughter born to her after Nate’s tragic death. As she begins to heal, she also finds a listening ear and a tender heart in her new boss, veterinarian Colson Hunter. Determined to move forward with life, Daria ignores the still small voice calling her to wait and accepts Cole’s marriage proposal. But after the wedding, Daria’s new dream life turns into a nightmare with the arrival of an unbelievable telegram: “Nathan Camfield found alive. Flying into K.C. Int’l. via Bogota…”
Now two men have the right to her daughter, her life, and her love. Will Daria return to her beloved first husband, abandoning Cole? Or will she reject Nate and choose the only man her daughter has ever called “Daddy”--a man she has come to cherish with all her heart?  

My Rating:  5 Stars

My Review:  After reading Tamera Alexander's, A Lasting Impression, I was browsing her blog and found a list of  "Books I wish I could erase from memory and read again for the first time (since I loved them so much)," and on that list was Deborah Raney's, Beneath a Southern Sky.  Since Tamera is one of my favorite authors, and I trust her book recommendations, I decided to pick this one up for my Kindle -- and I'm so glad that I did!

Oh. My. Word.  I LOVED it!  I've never read another book quite like it, and found it to be very unique.  Deborah Raney takes difficult circumstances, and weaves a story that is realistic and touches the heart.  The messages of forgiveness, sacrifice, and God's will are so well done, and beautifully written.   Oftentimes, it seems that faith messages are an afterthought in Christian fiction, but Deborah has woven these messages perfectly into the story.  The characters deal with real issues of faith that I think most Christians can relate to.  The dialogue and narrative are very well done, so much so, that you can truly feel the emotions right along with the characters.  The characters are flawed, and they face real, human struggles, making them easy to relate to.

I personally didn't find the story predictable, though I did have a preference for how the story would turn out.  I had no idea how Deborah would reconcile the circumstances, so I was very intrigued to see how things would play out.  I was literally weeping at the end -- which is a good thing for me!  I'm one of those readers who likes a good cry in a book, and for me, there's just something wonderful about a book that can touch the heart in that way.  This was a very satisfying read for me!

Beneath a Southern Sky won the 2002 RITA Award for Best Inspirational Romance, and it is a book that I would highly recommend.


  1. Wow, this sounds like a really great story! I've read a few of Deborah Raney's books before and thought they were wonderful, but this one sounds like her best yet! And that list of Tamera Alexanders sounds like something else I should check out. I love new book suggestions, so thanks for sharing Michelle. Your review definitely made me want to get a copy of this soon! Have a great day! :)

  2. This sounds like a wonderful and touching story.
    Im going to add it to my to be read list.

    Thanks so much for the review!

  3. Ohhh...sounds great! I love that it's something so different - and I only skimmed the blurb. I like to know a little bit about the story(is it romance, suspense, thriller...) but let it all unfold as I read.
    Great review!

  4. Thanks so much for stopping by ladies! I appreciate your kind comments. : )

  5. I know what you're saying, Michelle! This is one awesome book. Loved it too!