Sunday, August 2, 2015

"the wonder of you" by susan may warren

The Wonder of You continues Susan May Warren's wonderful Christiansen Family series.

Mortified after her semester abroad is cut short, Amelia Christiansen returns to Deep Haven, certain she isn’t brave enough for the adventures she’s dreamed of. The last thing she expects is for the man who broke her heart to cross the Atlantic and beg forgiveness.

Heir to a European hotel dynasty, Roark St. John has trekked from one exotic locale to another, haunted by tragedy and the expectations that accompany his last name. Amelia is the first woman to give him a reason to stop running. He’ll do anything for a second chance—even contend with Amelia’s old flame, who is intent on sending Roark packing.

While one surprise after another leaves Amelia reeling, Roark’s continued presence only highlights the questions pursuing her. Like him, is she running from the life God has called her to? Could finding her new place mean leaving home behind?

The overarching theme in The Wonder of You is pursuing the life God has called you to, wherever that may be and however that life may look.

After returning home from Europe with her heart broken, Amelia wonders if God's plans for her really include more than Deep Haven. Maybe she should settle down with Seth, her high school boyfriend, and live out her days in Deep Haven. But her heart continues pulling her toward Roark, even though she's not sure she can fully trust him. She struggles to understand what God wants for her.

Max Sharpe, Grace Christiansen's fiance, also struggles to understand God's plan for his life. Knowing he faces declining health and eventually death due to Huntington's disease, he decided that children could not be in his future. But when an orphan practically falls into Grace's lap, Max begins to realize that God may have something bigger in mind for him and Grace.

I love the way that Susan May Warren seamlessly weaves spiritual truth into a completely gripping family drama. One thing that has stuck with me, even several days after finishing the book, is a conversation that Amelia has with her best friends about following God's call. One of her friends says that if God called her to missions, she would just say no—after all, people say no to God all the time. That got me thinking—in what ways have I said no to God, and how much richer would my life be if I had said yes? Food for thought, for sure.

Of course, I enjoyed the novel for more than the deep thinking it provoked! The romance between Amelia and Roark was sweet (if a bit frustrating at times), and I loved how Roark fit into the Deep Haven community. I also enjoyed looking in on most of the other Christiansens again, as well as Jensen and Claire (from Take a Chance on Me).

Though it was the "B" plot of the novel, I absolutely adored the story surrounding Max and Grace. They are my favorite of the couples so far, so I was thrilled to jump back into their story and see how their relationship progressed since they fell in love in When I Fall in Love.

I feel like a broken record whenever I review one of the Christiansen Family books because I have only good things to say about them! This is a series that you absolutely don't want to miss, and The Wonder of You is just as gripping as all the preceding books in the series. 5 stars.

Read an excerpt.
Buy the book.
Read my reviews of other Christiansen Family novels: When I Fall in Love (5 stars), Evergreen (5 stars), and Always on my Mind (5 stars).

Susan May Warren is the bestselling, RITA Award-winning author of more than forty novels whose compelling plots and unforgettable characters have won acclaim with readers and reviewers alike. She served with her husband and four children as a missionary in Russia for eight years before she and her family returned home to the States. She now writes full-time as her husband runs a lodge on Lake Superior in northern Minnesota, where many of her books are set. She and her family enjoy hiking, canoeing, and being involved in their local church. Several of her critically acclaimed novels have been ECPA and CBA bestsellers, were chosen as Top Picks by Romantic Times, and have won the RWA's Inspirational Reader's Choice contest and the American Christian Fiction Writers Book of the Year award. Five of her books have been Christy Award finalists. In addition to her writing, Susan loves to teach and speak at women's events about God's amazing grace in our lives. She also runs a writing community for authors. 

Find Susan online: website, My Book Therapy, Twitter, Facebook

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free for review from the author. 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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