I'm always up for a Karen Kingsbury novel. This particular one was added to my bag at a $1 per bag library book sale several months ago. The very first exposure I ever had to Karen Kingsbury was when my mother gave my sister a gift of a Kingsbury novel, When Joy Came to Stay. I guess the title really stuck with me and I quickly became a fan of her books.
In Shades of Blue, Brad Cutler seems to have it all. He works for a New York ad agency and is engaged to the boss' beautiful daughter, Laura. With only weeks to go before their wedding, Brad begins to struggle with producing for a baby clothing ad campaign. As he tries to think through the mental blockage, he realizes that he needs to return to his home town and seek forgiveness from his first love, Emma. Kingsbury never gave the ending away, but carried the reader on for a good long time wondering which girl Brad would finally end up with and whether the hurts of the past would ever heal.
This book takes on the difficult subject of abortion. It also treats the internal sin of judging others because they fell. I found the message completely reassuring, that God loves us regardless of how we stumble. It was a quick and easy read (at times a bit too stereotypical) and an uplifting story.
I also thoroughly appreciated Karen Kingsbury's use of characters based on actual people through a program she calls "Forever in Fiction." The three characters that appeared in this novel are described in the introduction and then introduced as characters in the story. What a great way to raise money for charitable causes, while allowing families of individual warriors to see their loved one honored or memorialized in print.