Thursday, June 13, 2013

Afloat by Erin Healy

The plot is a familiar one. A disaster happens and a group of people is cut off from the rest of society. Their true character is revealed, often including revelations of personal history.

In an attempt to make this well used plot work, Healy adds a complex setting. Housing units are being built over water in the cove of a river. The project had been abandoned when our hero, Vance, saw them and planned their use as housing for the homeless. Unable to find funding, he turned to a somewhat sleazy investor and now the units will be luxury apartments. As the novel opens, one of the twelve proposed structures is completed and occupied.

A planted bomb causes construction mayhem and a natural disaster, which just happens to occur at the same time, cuts the construction project off from the rest of the world.

There are a number of problems with this novel. The setting is very complex with unusual construction and housing . I just could not visualize the scene. The construction seemed so complicated and costly, that Vance would contemplate its use for homeless people seemed unrealistic. And then there is the natural disaster that happens at the same time as the construction disaster. I felt that was too contrived. Healy added a supernatural element to the story but it seemed an odd part of the story, not flowing with the gist of the plot. She added the back story of Vance and his brother which only served to provide an improbable rescue at the end. I did not feel attached to any of the characters. None of them were people I felt I could really admire. Vance came the closest, as a Christian genuinely trying to live his faith. But the budding romance between Vance and Danielle, yet with an existing relationship between Danielle and Tony, well, for me that just did not work. Rather than merely trying to save Danielle and her son, with those romantic inclinations Vance made me almost not like him.

I have read a number of Healy's books. I really liked The Baker's Wife. Unfortunately, this novel is not one of her best. If you have never read Healy before, don't start with this one.

Watch the book trailer here.

I am taking part in a blog tour. You can read other reviews here.

Erin Healy is the best-selling co-author with Ted Dekker and an award-winning
editor for numerous best-selling authors. She is the author of several previous novels. She and her family live in Colorado. Find out more at

Thomas Nelson, 368 pages. Please visit your local Christian bookstore to purchase this book.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book through a publicity group for the purpose of this review.

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