Official Review: Finding James by Nancy Blaha

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Cecilia_L
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Official Review: Finding James by Nancy Blaha

Post by Cecilia_L » 02 Jan 2020, 09:44

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Finding James" by Nancy Blaha.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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Despite fleeing to California and Karen's attempts to put the past behind her, she is still mourning her twin brother's death for which she blames herself. In Finding James by Nancy Blaha, Karen must confront the pain she has tried so hard to bury when she returns to her hometown due to the serious illness of her father. She is plagued by guilt, questions if she could have possibly prevented James' death, and struggles to forgive herself and others. As Karen seeks to uncover the truth, she is shocked by what she learns not only about James but also about herself and the rest of her family. Will Karen finally be able to forgive herself?

This well-written book is just over 300 pages; the story is engaging and hard to put down. It traverses themes of family relationships, guilt, grief, adultery, abandonment, addiction, suicide, faith, forgiveness, hope, and redemption. The story is written in the first-person narrative from the perspective of Karen, the "normal" twin sister of James, who was born with weak lungs and a twisted leg.

I particularly like Blaha's writing style. She excels at showing us who Karen is through her thoughts, actions, and her vast range of emotional responses throughout the book. Layer by layer, Blaha reveals circumstances that have contributed to Karen's insecurities. Family dynamics play a major role in the story, and Blaha presents a well-developed cast of flawed but relatable characters, including her alcoholic mother and somewhat emotionally distant father. As the story unfolds, Blaha skillfully balances the emotional gravity of the plot by gradually building tension, allowing the reader to sense that there is something deeper that will soon come to light.

I can find nothing to dislike or improvements to suggest for this evocative and beautifully written story. While portions of the book deal with weighty issues and sadness, overall, it conveys hope. At the same time, it doesn't sugarcoat the issues or unrealistically suggest quick fixes. The synopsis mentions that Blaha and her husband have been involved in addiction recovery groups, "...helping to set the backdrop" for this novel; readers will appreciate the authenticity this lends to the story. Additionally, the book is professionally edited, contains no profanity, and the few sexual references are nonexplicit.

Therefore, I'm pleased to rate Finding James 4 out of 4 stars. I recommend it to readers who enjoy redemptive stories involving family relationships. Readers in recovery will appreciate Blaha's sensitivity in addressing addiction and references to Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.

******
Finding James
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Rachel Lea
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Post by Rachel Lea » 02 Jan 2020, 13:08

This sounds like a very thoughtful and well-written story. I'll have to check this one out. Thank you for your review!
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Post by Laura Lee » 02 Jan 2020, 16:37

Thank you for such a detailed description of what sounds like a beautifully intricate story. I like books with depth and, from your description, this book certainly delivers. I'd like to read it.
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Post by Cecilia_L » 02 Jan 2020, 17:13

Rachel Lea wrote:
02 Jan 2020, 13:08
This sounds like a very thoughtful and well-written story. I'll have to check this one out. Thank you for your review!
Thanks for your comment, Rachel.

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Cecilia_L
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Post by Cecilia_L » 02 Jan 2020, 17:14

Laura Lee wrote:
02 Jan 2020, 16:37
Thank you for such a detailed description of what sounds like a beautifully intricate story. I like books with depth and, from your description, this book certainly delivers. I'd like to read it.
You're welcome. I appreciate your comment. :tiphat:

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Post by Jaime Lync » 02 Jan 2020, 19:33

This seems like a well-written book featuring some strong character development. I like that. Thanks for sharing this informative review.

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Post by kandscreeley » 02 Jan 2020, 20:02

No improvements? Wow. High praise. There are so many important topics covered. I'm glad you introduced us to this. Thanks!
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Post by JanetWF » 02 Jan 2020, 20:59

If the book is as well written as your review, it will be marvelous! Very nice and informative review and I look forward to reading this book!

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Post by Cecilia_L » 04 Jan 2020, 10:58

Jaime Lync wrote:
02 Jan 2020, 19:33
This seems like a well-written book featuring some strong character development. I like that. Thanks for sharing this informative review.
Thanks for your comment, Jaime.

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Cecilia_L
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Post by Cecilia_L » 04 Jan 2020, 10:59

kandscreeley wrote:
02 Jan 2020, 20:02
No improvements? Wow. High praise. There are so many important topics covered. I'm glad you introduced us to this. Thanks!
You're welcome. I appreciate your comment.

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Cecilia_L
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Post by Cecilia_L » 04 Jan 2020, 10:59

JanetWF wrote:
02 Jan 2020, 20:59
If the book is as well written as your review, it will be marvelous! Very nice and informative review and I look forward to reading this book!
Thank you, Janet. :tiphat:

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