Some weeks back I told you that I was the lucky winner of a book (the very best kind of prize) on Karen Jones Gowen's blog. The book is called Uncut Diamonds - her second novel.
I have often found myself having to defend the kind of books I like best. I don’t like thrillers, crime fiction, historical fiction or anything that has violence. I like a book to wrap myself up in. A book that allows me to immerse myself in another life where I can watch characters grow and change as they cope with whatever life is throwing at them. I love books strong on character. For me, plot is secondary to that.
Uncut Diamonds is just that kind of book – a wander around the life of Marcie and Shawn McGill and their expanding brood of kids in smalltown USA (set in Illinois). The story charts some turbulent years in the life of this young, growing family who are challenged with the recession of the 70’s which causes Shawn to lose work and ultimately they lose their house.
I just loved the central character, Marcie. She was a young mother, trying to do her best for her family but who often was overwhelmed by life – like the rest of us. I loved the spirituality that was an integral part of this Mormon family’s life. It was a book that certainly resonated with me and had many similarities to Ireland in the 70’s when the church played a huge role in family life.
Ultimately this is a story full of light and redemption as the family find help in all kinds of unexpected places. It highlights the love that binds families together even when on the surface there may be arguments and tensions.
For an uplifting read, you could do worse than read Uncut Diamonds! Check out its author’s blog at www.karengowenjones.blogspot.com