Cracks in the Sidewalk Cracks in the Sidewalk by Bette Lee Crosby
My rating: 0 of 5 stars

Okay, maybe 3.5 stars. I know everyone is going to be upset with me about my rating since most of the ratings I see are four and five stars. I suppose if you were healthy enough to read in a paper or hardback book you would see the breaks. But those of us who must use text-to-speech those breaks are not so obvious. I spent most of the early chapters rereading to figure out whose viewpoint I was reading from. And it went from first person to third person at the drop of a hat. A simple *** between these might help a person know what’s coming. Even chapter numbers along with a name would help. Then at about 51% into the book it goes from an inspirational, bittersweet story to Christian fiction. I almost decided not to finish. Luckily the author regains the strength of story she had before and rarely uses the crutch of God to show how human lives affect each other. Not that I have given up on Christian fiction. If I know what it is ahead of time I can adjust. But in this case, the theme is of LOVE and life. It isn’t that God is foreign to this theme. God is Love, ya know. But with all the other problems I had staying with the story, this one jangled the nerves the most. Now for the good news. Even with the daughter dying of a brain tumor, whose husband had become the enemy of the family, the emotions of those two problems didn’t overtake me and leave me feeling depressed or angry. The author managed to keep the story about life and love and gave us hope. Not irrational hope of snake-oil, that the daughter would be magically healed. And please, don’t misunderstand me. I do believe that miracles happen. And I believe that people can change, but I didn’t believe the son-in-law would change. The story gave enough to the reader to know these two factors would remain the same and the story is how everyone dealt with the facts. In the end, I found the inspirational message of how our lives affect those around us and the help we give could just be the help we need.

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