Monday, July 25, 2011
Diana Prusik's Delivery ~ Reviewed
By Diana Prusik
Tyndale House Publishers
Livi finds new purpose in her troubled life when she joins her family's small-town florist shop. There, the strong and wacky Wilson's Florist gang monitors the pulse of Mount Helicon, where customers carry stories even the local newspaper does not contain. Tales of birth and death, sickness and sorrow, love and betrayal, and even forgiveness—Livi hears them all. Privy to some of the community's deepest secrets, she sometimes wishes she didn't know so much, especially when news arrives that a dear family friend is dead. Faced with servicing his funeral, she is blasted with painful memories she's struggled for decades to ignore. Soon, guilt and grief over childhood and adult tragedies close in. Instead of turning to loved ones or God for comfort, she leans on alcohol, her long-time clandestine companion—but secrets rarely escape the close-knit flower shop crew, who makes Livi's business its own. Fumbling through life's challenges together, the Wilson gang often delivers more than flowers, yet when Livi needs delivery, can the bonds of faith and friendship dissolve her defenses?
Delivery was one of the better books I’ve read this year, presenting the perfect balance of light-hearted humor and intensity. The characters were unique enough to prevent predictability, without hindering my attachment to them or ability to empathize with them. Initially, I was drawn to Livi, a confused and hurting young woman struggling to make sense of her world and the loss of her brother. However, by the end of the novel, I’d fallen in love with Jake, a man who embodied true, forever-love.
After the loss of her brother, Livi slips into a world of alcoholism, distrust, and bitterness. For much of the novel, she runs from God and withdraws from the love of her co-workers. Yet, no matter how hard Livi tries to free herself from their love, they remain constant and by her side. The close-knit atmosphere Diana created in the flower shop most of the story is centered in evoked a warm feeling of nostalgia within me and reminded me of the effectiveness of committed friendship.
I also enjoyed the frequent change of tones throughout the novel. Just when I thought my heart would break, Diana Prusik plunged me into a lighter scene that managed to produce a few authentic laugh-out-loud moments. Then, when I least expected it—Bam!—the intensity changed, and I found myself fighting tears once again.
This novel was one that will stay with me on many levels, reminding me to cherish the relationships I have, refusing to let them go without a fight.
Reviewed by: Jennifer Slattery