This novel is interesting in that it tries to grapple with a lot of different struggles and trials all at once. These are real problems that deserve consideration in literature. However, there are too many problems to sufficiently cover in a 227 page novel. Not only does it grapple with parent child relationships after a divorce, the struggle of dealing with alcoholism in a family, and moving on romantically after a divorce, it also takes on the issues of starting a new job, spreading the Gospel, abandonment, foster care, and dealing with troubled teens. Any one of these topics would be good for an individual novel, but to include them all in such a short work makes it difficult to do even one them justice. Many of the problems fall by the way side or are too easily resolved.
This is not to say that such big, real life issues shouldn't be dealt with in literature. That is one of the biggest benefits of literature, that it struggles and grapples with life, allowing us to find solutions as we read. And I have to say that it took courage on Proctor's part to bring so many large, challenging problems together in one novel. The combination definitely brings about a unique read unlike the other LDS fiction I have read thus far.
|Picture from Wikipedia|