Thursday, August 29, 2013

Book Review ~ The Chance by Karen Kingsbury

Ellie is 15 when her world is turned upside down with the separation of her parents.  As if the circumstances leading to the split are not bad enough,  now her Dad is moving her across the country away, ripping her away from everything she holds dear including her best friend, Nolan and her Mom.  Ellie and Nolan have been best friends since childhood, with Nolan making bold declarations, on a regular basis,  of marrying Ellie.  But now they are being torn apart and the night before Ellie leaves they meet in their usual spot and write letters telling their true feelings for each other which they bury beneath "their" tree and agree that if they don't reconnect in the following years, that in 11 years, on a specific date,  they will both come back to this spot and dig up the letters they wrote each other and read them.  It will be their "last chance" in case life tries to keep them apart.

But life does step in.  Nolan goes on to fulfill his dreams of playing in the NBA and though he has desperately tried to find Ellie, using all means available to him, he can never seem to pick up her trail. Though he has everything anyone can ever want: fame, money, any girl he desires, there is a huge hole in heart and he cannot get Ellie out of his heart and mind.   In spite of this his faith in God remains strong and unchanged.  Ellie's life has changed and not for the best.  In the grief of being torn from her mother and Nolan and the hardship of her new life, Ellie has lost her faith and now she is working just to get by to provide for her small daughter and herself.  She watches Nolan occasionally on TV and dreams of days gone by.  Both are well aware of the 11 year date approaching quickly.  Ellie just wants to get there and dig up her letter and leave before Nolan sees either her, the letter or what her life has become.  Nolan is desperate to get there and reconnect with Ellie who's friendship and love he has not been able to move beyond in all these years.  It's all about hope, forgiveness and second chances for all the main characters involved.

I think this was one of the best Karen Kingsbury novels I have read.  It was multi-layered with more than one character having to deal with the consequences of their's and other's actions and decisions.  I, the reader, was made well aware of how the things a person does really does filter down and affect so many other lives.  It's never just about ourselves.  And on the same token, I, the reader, saw the hope infused into the story through the character of Nolan and his strong faith in God and his belief that he and Ellie were meant to somehow reconnect.   Even though the story had tough circumstances and was in essence sad, there was always an element of hope that ran through it.   I know this author has had her naysayers but it was a refreshing and uplifting read after a summer of reading a couple of really heavy, sad stories, that though really good, didn't have the hope in them that Karen Kingsbury was able to achieve with this story.  There is something to be said for a good cry and an ending that leaves you with a satisfied sigh!




4 comments:

Mrs. C (Paula) said...

I enjoyed this one, too. I've read every one of her books and was glad that she stepped away from the series that never ends and did a stand alone. I'm in the middle of four books right now and need to get them all finished.

Faith said...

I haven't liked all the books I've read by her but this one is one that I have seen other people review and it looks good. I'll look for this one definitely! i'm in the middle of 2 books right now plus finishing up a bible study.....sigh...so many books, so little time......

Gattina said...

Could you put my link in Mr. Linky ?
I am on my way to Amsterdam !

http://gattinawritercramps.blogspot.be/2013/08/fridays-fave-five_30.html

Barbara H. said...

I've enjoyed many of her books, but for some reason this one never appealed to me, until this review. Putting it on my TBR list now.