Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Denise Hildreth's Hurricanes in Paradise ~ Reviewed
HURRICANES IN PARADISE
By Denise Hildreth
Published by Tyndale
Since starting her new job at a Paradise Island resort, Riley Sinclair feels the pieces of her life finally coming together---until she discovers that some guests arrive with their own demons, fears, and secrets. With a hurricane headed straight for the island, will Riley and three women find healing---and friendship---through the storm?
I was thankful to receive a review copy of this fun, honest, and inspiring book. The story reminded me a little of the TV Shows “Love Boat” and “Hotel”. Each week they’d introduce new characters and their dilemmas. Everyone tried to have fun because they were on vacation. But life doesn’t stop happening just because we’re on holiday!
Denise introduces four very different, interesting, quirky characters that would never have talked to each other under normal circumstances. But, rules are different when you’re on holiday. Time is of the essence, you may never see these people again.
Denise’s main character is Riley Sinclair, a single mom and head of guest relations at the hotel, working hard at her new job. Tamyra, is a beauty queen just finishing up her tour; hiding out from everyone and holding a secret close to her heart. Winnie Harris, Sam’s widow of three years- is stuck in the past with Sam and is afraid to live. Then there’s Laine Fulton, an author on a trip to get ideas for her new novel. She hates to eat alone and invites all of these ladies to dine with her, as she takes notes of their conversations. All of these ladies were in survival mode for one reason or another and life begins to get a little crazy as they all prepare for a Hurricane heading their way.
I loved what Denise said about these women and their struggle. “These women face real-life struggles. Real-life heartache that many of us face every day…this is a story about learning to live. My hope is that as you close the pages, you will be more aware of what real living is all about, more aware that inside your soul is the ability to survive even the toughest storms.”
I couldn’t agree with her more. Denise’s book touched my heart and soul. I enjoyed these ladies, I laughed, I was surprised at what these women shared and my spirit was moved as these characters faced their fears. You can tell this author has faced some fears of her own. Finding Hope Book Club is reading this novel—I can’t wait to hear what this group has to say about Hurricanes In Paradise. It’s more than a great summer read. These ladies and their story's will stir your soul!
Reviewed by: Nora St. Laurent
Four different women, each in a different painful storm, are brought together seemingly randomly to a Bahamian resort where the waters bring healing according to the man who greets each of the three visiting women. The fourth woman, Riley, is the resort manager who is assigned to make sure that all is well with the visitors.
As the women interact their stories come out in often colorful and sometimes inappropriate ways. The issues dealt with are heavy ones for Christian fiction -- Illness, grief, divorce and alcoholism with the main theme being the acceptance of grace and shedding of shame.
This novel is a little heavy for prairie Christian fiction lovers and might be for those looking for a light beach read. If you are looking for a cast of characters struggling through heavy life situations and almost too discouraged to hope for a little bit of mercy or grace, then this novel is for you.
Reviewed by: Kelly Klepfer