Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Moon Over Edisto by Beth Webb Hart

The past has come knocking on Julia's door. Can she summon the courage to answer betrayal with love?

Julia’s best friend, Marney, broke up her parents' marriage years ago. Now Marney shows up at her Manhattan apartment, asking the impossible—come home to Edisto Island to care for the half-sisters and half-brother she has never known. Marney, recently widowed, has lung cancer. There's no other family to care for the children while she’s in the hospital following surgery.

Julia loathes Marney. But if she doesn’t step in, her own mother—who has never gotten over the divorce—will be called upon to take care of the children. So she heads to South Carolina to keep the peace.

On Edisto, she begins to reconnect with the place and the people and she’s been running from her whole adult life. There’s the local doctor who once stole a kiss from her on that very beach, and the siblings she’s never known—especially the sister with selective mutism named Etta who’s the keeper of nearly every family secret . . . including the very one that just might bind-up Julia’s long-since shattered heart.

Moon Over Edisto by Beth Webb Hart was a sweet and touching novel that clearly displayed the connection of family and the importance of forgiveness. The plot line was interesting, moved at a steady and easy to follow pace, and the characters were realistic and unique. The narration of the plot switched between Julia, her mother, her sister Margaret, Julia's old sweetheart, and Etta. I found the storyline to be a good mix of suspense, romance, sadness, and humor.

The characters of this novel were also well written and developed well. Julia is a confused and slightly bitter woman who has suffered great betrayal by those who are the closest to her. Marney is her least favorite person, and Julia is forced to put aside all her plans in order to help her out. Julia returns home and finds parts of her life and childhood that she thought she had lost. She learns true love, the value of family, real art, and finally forgiveness. The other supporting characters of her mother, friends, fiance, and first sweetheart were realistic and helped reveal Julia's different characteristics. Julia's mother was really sweet, and I enjoyed seeing her move past tragedies and rediscover love and happiness. The children of Marney were adorable, and I enjoyed seeing them blossom under Julia's care even when she did not want to be there. Julia's sister Margaret was the complete opposite of Julia, and she had a harsher and more legalistic response to the betrayals in her life than Julia did. Margaret also did not change as much nor did she ever feel much compassion or forgiveness toward Marney. She showed some leniency at the end, but I was very disappointed with the very little that she changed. However, that is realistic, and it shows that it is only through trusting God and being filled with the Holy Spirit that you can truly forgive others that have wronged you. While Julia did begin to learn forgiveness and follow the right path for her life, I did not like the lack of God was shown in this novel and her changes. Julia never really returned to her belief in God, and God was either only mentioned vaguely by other characters or as a random prayer thrown up to a Being that Julia did not really believe in.

Overall I found the plot to be interesting and well written, and the characters to be realistic. However, I was disappointed in the lack of spiritual growth in all the characters because it left out a very realistic dimension that adds greatly to a believable story. I also thought that the plot and novel would have been much deeper and easier to connect to if God had been given a greater place and mention in the characters' lives, thoughts, and conversations.

I received this novel for free from Booksneeze.com in exchange for an honest review.

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