Friday, May 05, 2006

Nikki Arana's In the Shade of the Jacaranda~Reviewed

In the Shade of the Jacaranda
By Nikki Arana
Published by Revell
ISBN 0-8007-3049-6

When a couple faces a life-shattering situation, can love, commitment and faith keep their family together? After Angelica Amante defied her wealthy parents' wishes and married an illiterate Mexican stable hand, Antonio Perez, she thought their love had overcome the biggest hurdle they would ever face. But just as Angelica throws herself into her work as a defense attorney, she discovers she is pregnant—and her world is turned upside down.

As her husband struggles to save his fledgling landscape business, Angelica must juggle the challenges of a demanding boss and an unexpected pregnancy. Then their doctor becomes concerned about the health of their unborn child, and her relationship with her parents becomes troubled. Soon both Angelica and Antonio are confronted with decisions that shake them to their core. Will their faith in God and their love for each other sustain them—even when it seems their dreams are slipping away?

Although at first I doubted the probability of this wealthy girl marrying an uneducated stable hand, Arana handles the story in a way that I believed. She documents the difficulties of an immigrant, and the prejudices, with sensitivity. I found myself drawn to the prayer-warrior grandmother, and I liked how Arana portrayed the woman. The husband, Antonio, while uneducated is intelligent, and untainted by American culture, he reveals a strong, child-like faith.

The second book in the Regalo Grande series, In the Shade of the Jacaranda delivers a simple message wrapped in a story of love: Believing IN God isn't enough—you have to believe God.

Reviewed by Ane Mulligan

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