Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Book Review: Covenant Child

A Fair Trade Book

Title: Covenant Child

Author: Terri Blackstock

Author's web page: www.terriblackstock.com

Publisher: W / Thomas Nelson

Date: 2002

Length: 309 pages including 3-page Bible study

Quote: “I looked back at her, and for a moment, I wanted to believe. But faith didn't come easy for me.”

Kara and Lizzie are orphan twins who stand to inherit lots of money. Their stepmother, their maternal grandparents, and (of course) the young men who are attracted to them, have different ideas about what the girls should do with the money.

I object to the blurb on the back cover. Because bestselling romance writer Terri Blackstock has dedicated all her work to “glorifying the Lord,” the Bible-based plot of Covenant Child is (for Christians) about as predictable as a story can be. It's a tasteful, biblically sound orphan story, not without charm...but, suspense? Only if you've never talked to an evangelical Christian.

However, romance novels are always predictable and yet persistently popular. Women who want a novel that provokes thoughts about love, in a family more than a romantic sense, are likely to find Covenant Child an enjoyable read.

Publishers of paperback romances market different lines to different age groups based on the amount of explicit sex in the story. In that sense, Covenant Child is suitable for young readers; the protagonists are young, and although sex is mentioned it's never mentioned in an explicit or erotic way. The girls have been abused, yes, but in more normal, realistic, rather than sexual or sensational ways: the adults they know treat them like dirt and owe them money. My feeling is that Blackstock was writing primarily to older readers who are likely to feel motherly and protective toward the characters, rather than young readers who are likely to identify with them. I could be wrong. I've not consulted any teenaged or twenty-something readers. If you are one, please use the comment space.

Covenant Child is a Fair Trade Book. If you send $5 per book + $5 per package to either of the addresses in the bottom left corner of the screen, we'll send $1 per book to Terri Blackstock or a charity of her choice. (Yes, this means two books cost you $25, out of which Blackstock gets $2.) As always, the reward for those who buy secondhand books from me locally, in real life, rather than online, is that they pay much lower prices...but then the copy they buy is likely to show much more wear than a copy I might buy and resell online.