"I give expression to the overflowing love of God within me". Unity saying.
A Family for Faith
Mass Market Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: Love Inspired (March 22, 2011)
After reading “A Family for Faith” I wanted to change the cover art to make it look different from all the other Love Inspired Inspirational books. I wanted it to visually say, “This one is different! Don’t’ miss reading this book!”
Since her first book, “Her Unlikely Family" I fell in love with Missy Tippens heartwarming voice. There is no doubt that she loves her characters and her readers. No other romance author makes me feel as good when I am reading her books. I place a high value on how reading a romance makes me feel. This quality makes Missy Tippens books both ‘automatic buys’ and ‘instant reads’. A Missy Tippens title has never made it to my TBR pile!
Even though I considered her first book, “Her Unlikely Family" a five star effort, each following book has become better. Missy Tippens is an author still learning her craft and applying what she has learned. Her books are about as reader friendly as books can be.
I believe “A Family for Faith” is better by an order of magintude in reader enjoyment and as such is a prime candidate to win future ‘Book of the Year’ awards.
What I like best is the author’s voice. I consider her writing to be almost a new subgenre: ‘Heartwarming Realism'. Many authors write ‘sweet’ romances and they are good. But when reading these novels you known that you are reading a ‘sweet’ romance. Moreover, some of the ‘sweetness’ is there for ‘sweetness sake’. Missy Tippens is different: in her books the heartwarming love and sweetness flows realistically from the characters personalities and actions. This is so hard to do that I think it took four books for the author to raise it to the almost subgenre level.
You really have to read Missy Tippens books to fully understand this style of writing. Here is an example of what I mean by, 'Heartwarming Realism', on page 160:
Set-up: The heroine was dumpted by her first husband. She feels she was not 'good enough' for him. She is very guilt-ridden and believes she is a bad mother who drove her son away to live with his father’s new family. As the story opens Faith is becoming interested in a handsome widower who has a 13 year old daughter. She tells her old friend how she feels about the hero, “Gabe”.
“It would be so easy to accept, to settle for less than total devotion.”
All the heroine wants is ‘total devotion’ and maybe she would begin to trust in love again. When I read this I said to myself, ‘honey get real…no one is ever likely to get total devotion.’ I also thought the author had gone too far to be heartwarming, that is , too far to be considered realistic.
But then, on page 163, her old friend advises:
“I want you to remember – there are no perfect situations. Don’t waste time trying to attain something that’s not possible this side of heaven. You and Gabe put God first, and you’ll have a good, sold foundation.”
“And here you are setting unrealistic expectations. Give the man—and yourself—a break.”
This is exactly what I was saying to myself and what I would have said to the heroine in real life. That’s it! Things happen in "A Family for Faith" like they would in real life. This makes reading Missy Tippens books so satisfying.
About the story:
The hero, Gabe , is a widower with a thirteen year old daughter. He is still so in love with his dead wife, Tina, (who was almost perfect), that he keeps her very uncomfortable furniture in his house because Tina picked it out and loved it. Life for Gabe would be a lot easier if Tina had not been such a loving and ideal wife. (I think in most romances that I have read dead wives have been given real faults. Sometimes the first marriage itself was on the verge of divorce. I think doing this makes it easier to write the story but it does not make the story as heartwarming.)
The heroine, Faith, married at a young age, had a son, but her husband was not satisfied with her and left her. He now has a very nice new family and has become successful in business. Faith put so much pressure on her son to fill the ‘gap’ in her life, that he revolted and moved in with his father.
Faith has serious guilt problems and feels she is a bad mother. She also has to deal with the hero’s strong love for his ‘perfect’ departed wife. It would seem hopeless for Faith. She runs a small coffee shop in which the hero likes to stop and buy donuts. (Of course, he’s a cop and Chief of Police.)
|Ben is headed for the 'Show'.|
Faith’s teenage son, Ben, is a baseball superstar with big league potential. Ben’s trials and hopes, as he moves from baseball tournament to tournament, are also totally realistic. That’s probably because the author has a young relative who is going through the same experiences! (As they say, “Write what you know.”)
So while this book is heartwarming and wonderful to read, the realism makes it work so much better. For more on this read my award for Best Character Names given to "A Family for Faith" posted on this blog.
Being both very realistic and very heartwarming is hard to do. It takes a long time and I expect a lot of revisions. So don’t expect a Missy Tippens book every four months. Read each book slowly and enjoy every minute.
Best Book Yet!