Thursday, April 11, 2002

A Season For Love by Lauralee Bliss

Awe-Struck E-Books, 1587490994, Download, $4.50; Disk, $7.95

Every school, every town probably has at least one girl like Elaine Reynolds: chubby, shy and cursed with glasses of the unflattering variety. Burdened with the frustration of near-poverty and athletic failure, Elaine is the girl everybody would look upon with pity if they were not already laughing at her. For this, Elaine blames David Edwards, the spoiled son of Charleton's most influential family, a boy who smugly breezes through life as if angels are guiding his path. David spends much of elementary and high school making Elaine's life a living hell, a hobby he maintains with aplomb until a tragic event brings Elaine to find her voice, and what she has to say to David is nothing like the praise to which he is accustomed.

Jump ahead several years, and Elaine is now committed to two things: improving the quality of her life and Jesus Christ (not in that order). What confidence she has managed to muster since high school, however, begins to fade upon learning her longtime harrasser has returned home. To make matters worse, David has been appointed by his father to run the family's latest business venture, the electronics outlet center where Elaine hopes to find work. Though she has opened her heart to God, it remains closed to David Edwards despite the radical change in his attitude towards her. David's reluctance to turn to God, compounded by Elaine's reluctance to forget the past, creates turbelence in their rocky courtship, and only when another tragedy strikes is it made clear to both that although flesh may fail, God does not.

Author Bliss gives us in A Season For Love a touching two-tiered story of forgiveness -- forgiveness of self and others. Bliss has created in Elaine Reynolds a likeable heroine who evokes our sympathy and respect. For all her piety, some may find it odd that Elaine does not always practice the faith she preaches to David, yet this kind of personality is what makes her three-dimensional. Elaine struggles with God's will as she does with her relationship with David (who, though seemingly mature as an adult, tends occasionally to allow the spoiled boy of the past to take over), and it is her determination to see life through with His love that is inspiring. Love is not always easy to experience, but as Elaine and David come to terms with their differences in social status and faith, A Season For Love shows that ultimately love can be attainable.

Bliss has authored various novellas available in print from Christian publisher Barbour and Company; she is certain to win new fans in the e-publishing realm with A Season For Love. Crisp narration and dialogue enhance the small-town feel of this story, where bitter feelings melt with the seasons.

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