Top critical review
Completely Unrealistic & Disappointing
Reviewed in the United States on June 10, 2012
I like Ms. Hannon's books, and appreciate the gentle religious philosophy with which she imbues her characters. However, in this case, she leapt right past religious and into the realm of complete fantasy.
**SPOILER ALERT** (not much of a spoiler, since you can figure it out by the middle of chapter 1...)
Our female protagonist is the victim of a violent assault which left her pregnant. Her reaction to that trauma is well-depicted. However, Ms. St. John's decision to allow our heroine to become pregnant in the first place is a bit baffling, since it's basic procedure for rape victims to take a huge dose of birth-control (aka "the morning after pill"), which effectively prevents pregnancy. (Note to readers who don't believe in abortifacient drugs: the so-called "morning after pill" does NOT induce abortion when taken immediately after intercourse. It works just like The Pill, preventing conception.) Since we assume at the beginning of the book that our heroine reported the attack, we also have to believe that she ended up in the hospital. Who refuses to prevent the possibility of pregnancy after rape when she has the choice?? Contraception is not abortion, and most people -- including devout Christians -- use contraception. The fact that the pregnancy occurred in the first place is puzzling, and this is where I start to get lost.
On top of that, our characters remain undeveloped throughout the course of the book. It's mostly plot- and angst-driven, which is unfortunate. Although our characters spend considerable amounts of their time struggling over decisions they must make, we never learn anything more about them. In addition, the characters' sudden epiphanies and instant changes of heart are completely unrealistic. Healing is a process, and some of the decisions our characters make simply cannot be made in the space of a moment.
Finally, a personal pet peeve: the dialogue in this book was so obviously written by a woman that the men never become quite real. E.g., I know a lot of men, and the only ones who would EVER use the word "fabulous" are gay. American men just don't talk like that. Ever.
On the whole, I was disappointed in this book.