Monday, October 19, 2009

Debut Novel -- Dreaming of Home – A Five Star Delight!

Highest Recommendation! Future Award Winner!

Dreaming of Home, Glynna Kaye, Love Inspired, 2009, 213 pages.

I enjoy reading debut novels. I search them out. There’s always the chance of ‘discovering’ a new Star! I also enjoy reading debut novels very carefully to see if the author is doing anything especially well and original that I could incorporate into my own writing.

With “Dreaming of Home” I think I’ve ‘discovered’ a rising star. I say this because there is a lot to like in Glynna Kaye’s work.

Stellar Inspirational Content!

“Dreaming of Home” provides a truly inspirational reading experience. The emotions are genuine and heartfelt. This is because the inspirational impact arises internally from the unfolding of the story itself.

This is very hard to do well. Too often, with Inspirational novels, the inspirational content is added to the story to meet publisher guidelines. In such romances characters are prone to 'talk to' God in italic type every so many pages as if this inspirational content were a jacket put on the body of the story. A jacket I might add which could easily be removed without doing an injustice to the novel. (This tendency is most pronounced in Inspirational Suspense novels where action has to be given top billing.)

In “Dreaming of Home” the inspirational content is so well integrated into the story that I felt its impact immediately on the first page and continued to experience the warm genuine inspirational feelings throughout the entire novel. “Dreaming of Home” is how to write an inspirational novel. Here’s an example of what I mean:

“What a place. She could almost feel God’s peace penetrating her heart. Her mind. Her soul. Even when in desperate need, how often had she passed up opportunities to settle down and let God fill her with his presence? She didn’t have to come to a place like this to find him. She only had to get still, wherever she might be, and allow God to find her. P.130

The whole book displays this degree of spiritual sensitivity. If you like inspirational romances, as I do, then “Dreaming of Home” is a five star delight.

Stellar Use of Conflict!

“Dreaming of Home” demonstrates a masterful use of conflict. From the first page the conflict is ever-present and continually unfolding. The conflict progresses organically from prior events that arise internally from the story. The tension is like water under high pressure which is prone to burst forth at any time at any weak point. The pressure just grows and grows from the story itself as if it were a living thing. This tension grabs the reader’s interest and almost turns the pages by itself

For example, it is always iffy whether the hero and heroine can ever find common ground. The hero and heroine want the same job, the same house, and both are not ready (for their own reasons), to form a relationship.

I find this ever-present and ever-growing use of conflict to be very unusual and difficult to execute. 'How-to' writing books often give advice calling for three acts with choke points of no return— these points of conflict often are the result of external events. This is not bad advice, however,if you read a lot of romances you can often see these events coming. External events can seem artificial.

“Dreaming of Home” happens more like real life. This provides a more vivid reading experience which will be noticed when reading the story.

“Dreaming of Home” is well wroth reading.

Stellar Sensitivity!

The sincere inspirational content and expert use of conflict is enhanced many times over by the exquisite sensitivity of the writing. The plot involves cancer and the recurrence of cancer and the writing resonates so deeply, that I just concluded that these passages could not simply be fiction. I felt that the author must have had these same feelings. I was not surprised therefore that in the afterward the author wrote:

“I have faced a time of uncertain health issues myself, so I know what it’s like to choose to trust God.”

“Dreaming of Home” is about as good a debut novel as can be written.

Here is a little information about the story. The hero is Joe Diaz, the heroine, Meg McGuire. The story takes place in Canyon Springs, Arizona which is a mile high small community in Ponderosa Pine country in northern Arizona. The location is drawn beautifully and actually takes on the importance of a major character.

Highest Recommendation! Future Award Winner!