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Echoes by Robin Jones Gunn is a pleasant, upbeat Christian romance that quickly engages the reader from the very first chapter. The heroine, Lauren is likable and relatable. She isn’t exactly where she had hoped to be in her early twenties; living city life and working at a bank, but she has a fiancée she loves and high hopes for the future. Her dreams of moving to a small town and becoming an English teacher are shattered when her fiancée receives a promotion requiring a move to New York City. Lauren realizes that not moving with him will likely end their relationship and she struggles to decide between the comfort of what she knows and an unknown future.
Much of the story focuses on Lauren’s inner journey and reflection. Her brother, an entertaining addition to the story, provides her with a computer and introduces her to the world of Internet communication. Lauren finds a friend online and begins exchanging letters that she begins to rely on more and more as a source of support and encouragement. The more Lauren learns about this mysterious online pen-pal, the more she begins to believe that the Lord really does have a greater plan for her life.
Reasons to Read: If you are looking for an easy, low stress read that is enjoyable and relaxed this is an excellent choice. The message of hope and love despite set backs is inspiring without being overwhelmingly emotional. This is also an excellent romance that can be shared between mother and preteen or teenage daughter; however, there is the formation of a relationship online, which the author does make an effort to caution young readers against at the end of the book. This book is the third installment in the Glenbrooke Series, but there was no need to read the other books to enjoy this novel as a standalone story.
Reasons to Pass: Lauren has never utilized the Internet and has never used email. The main character’s lack of familiarity with the online world is odd and a little out place given her age and community. It gives the book a dated feel, but it can easily be forgiven due to an enjoyable story line. Parts of the book are very predictable, but sometimes that easy to see good ending is just what a reader is looking for in a relaxing book.
Category: Christian Fiction – Romance
Suggested Rating: PG