Friday, September 5, 2014

"making marion" by beth moran

Do you enjoy Debbie Macomber's Cedar Cove books (or Hallmark Channel's Cedar Cove series)? Then you'll want to check out Making Marion.

Marion Miller comes to Sherwood Forest to uncover her father's mysterious past. She is looking for somewhere to stay, but instead finds herself on the wrong side of the reception desk at the Peace and Pigs campsite. Despite her horrible shyness, she promptly lands herself a job working for the big-hearted and irrepressible Scarlett.

It takes all of Marion's determination to come out of her shell and get to grips with life on a busy campsite, where even the chickens seem determined to thwart her. Then an unfortunate incident with a runaway bike throws her into the arms of the beautiful, but deeply unimpressed, Reuben ...

Can Marion discover her father's secret? And will she find peace, and perhaps even love, among the pigs?

When I began reading Making Marion, I wasn't sure what to expect. The cover makes it look whimsical and fun, but the first few chapters were slow, and I struggled to get through them. I think this is largely due to my lack of knowledge of British vernacular. Even now, after finishing the book, I'm not sure where exactly Marion was living—I think maybe it was in an RV? Regardless, I think my lack of interest in the beginning was the fault of this reader, not the author.

What I discovered as I pressed on was a delightful story with quirky characters. Making Marion is told from Marion's point of view, and her perspective is at various times sweet, heart wrenching, and humorous. I actually giggled a lot while reading this novel, and that humor helped cut some of the seriousness.

Making Marion is a pure delight to read, and it had the feel of some of the British shows I enjoy, like Monarch of the Glen and Doc Martin. (For those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about, the closest American comparison I can make is Cedar Cove, though with less soapy drama.) I would love to watch Marion's story unfold week by week on the small screen. (BBC? ITV? Any takers?) My only complaint is that it ended rather abruptly ... so I hope that author Beth Moran isn't finished with Marion's story!

There is a bit of harsh language, as well as a few (hilarious!) descriptions of people in compromising positions, so if this were a film, it would probably receive a PG-13 rating, but it would be a very mild PG-13.

While faith isn't a major focus of Making Marion, Marion does take several steps back toward God after ignoring him for many years. I don't think I'd classify this as inspirational fiction, but it is fiction that I can happily recommend. 4 stars.

Buy the book.

Beth Moran has a background as a research scientist and adult educator. She now concentrates on church work and is part of the national leadership team of the UK women's network Free Range Chicks. She is married with three children and lives in Nottingham, England. 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free for review from Kregel Publications. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Also, some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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