Tuesday, June 2, 2015

London Tides by Carla Laureano

This was a rewarding novel to read. The pace is slow and methodical but the subject matter was very interesting.

Grace Brennan is a professional photographer who documented the tragedies of conflicts. She came into that work ten years earlier when her brother had been killed and she decided to carry on his work. She had been living with and planning to marry Ian McDonald, a man who had given up his rowing career for their relationship. But when her brother was killed, Grace suddenly left, never contacting Ian to let him know where she went.

Now, ten years later, she has suffered yet another loss. A close associate had been killed when they were on an assignment together. She has returned to London, wondering if her work documenting the suffering should come to an end. The nightmares will not go away and are weighing heavy on her.

She stands on the edge of the river early in the morning to catch a glimpse of Ian at his morning row. She sees him glance at her, recognition yet coldness in his eyes.

Grace and Ian do connect but it is a troubled reunion. There is a great deal of hurt on both sides that needs to be healed. The novel concentrates on the restoration of the relationship. Misunderstandings abound. Grace has difficulty being truthful about the horrors she has seen and the effect on her. Ian is cautious yet is driven by the love he still has for her.

Laureano has an interesting writing style. She walks us through a situation in a manner that makes me feel like I am right there with the characters. There is no unusual dialog nor odd actions. Reading this novel is like participating in everyday life. It just seemed natural.

But that does not mean the book is boring. The topic of post traumatic stress disorder is brought to the forefront. It was a bit of a twist to have a nonmilitary woman experiencing it. We read much of Grace's thoughts as she deals with the wounds left in her heart. Ian is somewhat at a loss at knowing how to help her.

The Christian faith of the characters is low key but there just under the surface. Grace has to confront her own feelings toward a God who would allow the suffering she has seen.

This is not your light hearted Christian romance. Laureano takes us through an involved relationship. It was rewarding to see how hurts can be overcome and relationship restored, if both are willing to endure the time and effort it takes.

This is the second in the McDonald family series. You can read my review of the first one, Five Days in Skye, here.

Carla Laureano is the author of the RITA award-winning Five Days in Skye as well as the Celtic fantasy series The Song of Seare. She lives in Denver with her husband and their sons. Find out more at http://www.carlalaureano.com/.

David C Cook, 340 pages.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of an independent and honest review.
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