Wednesday, November 02, 2005



From the back cover:

Phoebe's family has money troubles. Her spiritual life is dragging. She really, really misses her long-distance best friend, Lindsey. But all that's bearable because of Alex, the gorgeous man who shares her love of movies and actually likes women with a little meat on their bones. At last-a real boyfriend to kiss on New Year's Eve!

But by New Year's Eve, Alex is in London, called home by a family emergency, newly engaged Lindsey has turned into Bridezilla, and the snooze button still sabotages Phoebe's morning quiet times. She needs a break, which is why she jumps at the cheap off-season fare and flies to England. She's not chasing Alex. Really. She just wants to broaden her horizons.

What awaits Phoebe in the land of Mrs. Miniver and Notting Hill (and beyond) is nothing short of disaster . . . and nothing less than a miracle.

Camy here:

I liked this sequel even better than the first book, DREAMING IN BLACK AND WHITE. Phoebe matures more in this story. Her spiritual and emotional struggles will strike a deep, resonant chord with single Christian women who've listened to the "purity" sermons and been nagged about putting career before their God-ordained role as wife and mother.

Phoebe's voice in this novel is more dreamy/fantastical and less neurotic/spastic than in the first book. She struggles with her singleness, occasional bouts of lust, and longing for a relationship, and she eventually finds her peace--but it isn't some cheesy pat answer or a preachy epiphany. She strives and falls and climbs and splats. When she rises out of the muck of her mistakes and misconceptions, God is there to make the pieces fit, somehow.

Phoebe's adventures in England are slapstick funny. The author paints Great Britain with a masterful hand--not so much description it's like a tourist guide, not so little that the setting is ambiguous. Esther's story makes the setting especially poignant.

It starts off a bit too slow, but the action picks up after a few chapters. Also, her friend Lindsey was a bit cliché in her Bridezilla role, but it provides nice contrast and conflict for green-eyed Phoebe.

I couldn't stop turning the pages to find out what happens next. The ending is very satisfying, and not over-the-top.

This book especially speaks to singles caught in their own struggles and misunderstood by their churches. Some of the references are more applicable to those in their late twenties and older--younger singles might not understand the kinds of emotional conflicts at work.

A great read. It can also stand alone--readers don't necessarily have to read the first book to understand and enjoy this one.


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