Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Book Review: Sisterchicks Go Brit!

I fondly remember my mother telling me she had found another good writer of Christian inspirational novels - Robin Jones Gunn. How I loved hearing her recommendations! It is so sad that she no longer reads books, or even my blog, due to her dementia. My dad says that she tries, but just cannot retain enough to stick with it. So, as I read Sisterchicks Go Brit!, I not only thought of my upcoming trip to London, but also thought about how my mother and I would have discussed this book, if I had read it a few years back.

Overall, I enjoyed the story and the travelogue feel to the novel. Since I studied at Oxford with the Wheaton-in-England program the summer of 1985, and worked for six months in London on a student-work visa in 1987, I was lucky enough to have experienced quite a few of the tourist activities outlined in the novel. The only thing I didn't attempt (nor will I ever, probably) was a hot-air balloon ride.

This is certainly not a plot-driven story. It primarily introduced two women who have a wish fulfilled when they are given tickets to travel to London, escorting an elderly neighbor back to her home in Olney. Liz and Kellie, who teasingly call themselves Lady Ebb and Lady Flo (for their intention to go with the flow of whatever transpires during their trip), are contemplating going into an interior design business together. Liz's love of British literature shines through and Kellie's appreciation of patterns and designs carry much of the side-story, but the pace and intention of the plot didn't really entice all that much. Throughout the story, the two are drawn closer to the Lord (after all, it is a Christian novel, and I guess that is to be expected) and enjoy a time of blessing throughout their travels.

As someone intending to depart on an upcoming trip to London, it was a fun read. It is sure to appeal to Christian women who experience wanderlust of any sort, and especially those who, like Liz, dream of seeing Big Ben. I can think of one friend, in particular, I should recommend it to, because this Christian friend absolutely loves travel and has recently started her own travel agency. I could imagine an agent offering a tour that lives out the experiences of Sisterchicks Go Brit! - a Sisterchicks Go Brit tour, so to speak.

I hate to fault the book for my common complaint with Christian fiction (the message feels forced into the story, instead of the story carrying the message), but the spiritual applications did, indeed, feel intrusive at times. It was as if the author wrote of a friendly girlfriend trip across the pond, but needed to add layers of Christian observations so it would appeal to the intended market. Having recently attempted to write my own inspirational novel, I can appreciate how difficult it is to avoid allowing the spiritual observations to overshadow the strength of story. Nonetheless, I can see why this author appealed to my mother, and I would still be willing to read another of her books. I'll have to check out the Paris excursion Sisterchick novel called Sisterchicks Say Oo La La!

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