Monday, May 16, 2011

Leaving by Karen Kingsbury

The Bailey Flanigan series begins with Bailey leaving Bloomington for the adventure of a lifetime. She has won an audition for the ensemble of a Broadway musical in New York City.

She’s determined to take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, but is she really ready to leave family and friends for the loneliness of the city? And what of Cody? His disappearance has her worried about their future and praying that their love can survive. In order to be closer to his mother in jail, Cody takes a coaching job in a small community outside Indianapolis. New friends, distance, and circumstances expose cracks in his relationship with Bailey Flanigan. Love, loneliness, big opportunities, and even bigger decisions highlight the first book in the new Bailey Flanigan series that features members of the popular Baxter family and finally completes the Bailey Flanigan/Cody Coleman story.

My review:
Although my favorite genre' of Christian fiction to read is suspense/mystery, Karen Kingsbury is a genre' all to her own, and is my favorite non-suspense author.

I have to say up front that even though I am a big KK fan, I am tiring of the storyline in these books. The Redemption series was awesome, but this makes the fourth series that has been "spin-offs" of the series, and I find myself not looking forward to reading the new books in the new spin-offs as much as I used to look forward to reading a new KK book.

That being said, I still loved the book. Karen definitely has a style all of her own, and has a God-given way of writing an emotionally charged novel that has God at the center. In spite of my feelings about another spin-off, I did enjoy reading more of Cody and Bailey's story.

As with any KK book, this one is a page-turner, though not in the suspense/mystery sort of way. This book, as all of hers, are gripping and emotional, and I wanted to see how the story ended. And it was worth reading.

If you have never read a Karen Kingsbury novel, I wouldn't advise starting with this one, as much of the characters' stories are told in previous books, but if you are a KK fan, and even if you are weary of the Baxter and friends story line, go ahead and read Leaving anyway. The setting is different, and like me, you may be wondering how the Cody and Bailey story will play out.

About the author:
New York Times bestselling author Karen Kingsbury is America’s favorite inspirational novelist, with over 15 million books in print. Her Life-Changing Fiction™ has produced multiple bestsellers, including Leaving, Take One, Between Sundays, Even Now, One Tuesday Morning, Beyond Tuesday Morning, and Ever After, which was named the 2007 Christian Book of the Year. An award-winning author and newly published songwriter, Karen has several movies optioned for production, and her novel Like Dandelion Dust was made into a major motion picture and is now available on DVD. Karen is also a nationally known speaker with several women’s groups. She lives in Washington with her husband, Don, their daughter and five sons.

Leaving is available from Zondervan Publishing.

Thanks to Zondervan for the review copy.