Thursday, March 25, 2010

Book Review: Never Say Never by Lisa Wingate

Thanks for putting up with my continual book review posts, friends. It just so happened that my receipt of three books from Bethany House coincided with my travels across the US and my spring break - which meant there was going to be a LOT of reading time in my future. And since my only obligation in return for getting these books is to write a review, well.... you've seen a lot of them lately.

On the bright side, "Never Say Never" by Lisa Wingate is hands down the BEST of the books I've read in the last month or so. The characters were so engaging and charming, the story so touching and entertaining, and the setting so enjoyable that I read it in 24 hours.

The story centers around two women, Kai, a young gal who works on a cruise ship and makes jewelry from found objects and Donetta, and older lady, who with her two best friends is headed to Perdida, Texas to enjoy a cruise. But before they can make it to Perdida, a hurricane moves in and causes an evacuation of Kai and the rest of the gulf coast. Donetta, her friends, Lucy and Imogene, and Kai end up traveling together after  series of the kinds of crises that happen during a hurricane evacuation. Through their travels together on the road, and Kai's eventual landing in Daily, Texas (Donetta's hometown) - all involved learn about themselves and others.

Kai and Donetta alternate narrating the chapters, and so you hear both of their perspectives, often on different events that are happening - and it makes the story really entertaining. As you learn about Kai's family history, you understand more about her reticence to find a home in Daily - even with the handsome Kemp Eldridge (Donetta's nephew, and the high school Baseball Coach) on her tail. And as you learn about Donetta's relationship with her husband (who is missing when she returns to Daily), you really get a sense of how miscommunications can happen within marriages.

As I read the story, I chuckled out loud a lot; I also got teary-eyed a number of times. Lisa Wingate is a great storyteller - and it didn't hurt that Daily is located near Waco/Killeen, so the way the characters talk (they say things like "might could" and eat Chicken Spaghetti) was super familiar and accurate and the areas that she was talking about reminded me so much of my years in Texas.

If you enjoy fiction novels, and especially if you like romance stories - you will really love this one. For real people, buy this book. Five Small Town Baseball Fields out of Five.