by Sharon Srock
Callie's story is one of healing. Even as Callie struggles to help those around her find healing in their lives, she comes to the realization that she too is in need of healing. The novel is well written and quickly draws the reader into Callie's life. The story flows well, the characters and plot are realistic enough to cause the reader to be able to relate to Callie and those around her. Though there are parts of the story that move along more quickly than they likely would in real life, this book contains/tells a story that we see all too often. Finding healing is difficult in any situation, but Callie knows the only place to look to find true and lasting healing.
© Stacey Kouba, 2012
Sharon Srock has created both a readable story and an inviting community in her novelCallie. The community of which the title character is a part is in Garfield, OK, a fictional spot that is further fleshed out at the blog http://womenofvalleyview.blogspot.sg, where you can find ongoing tales about the women at the Valley View Church in Garfield.
While there are some parts of Callie that take a different track than what I understand about God's guidance and providence in our lives, I still find in an engaging and entertaining story. The characters are very likable, which always serves as a good foundation for a novel. The only real gripe I had about it, as a story, is that I felt the time frame for some of the action moved along too quickly toward the end. What happens in days as you near the end would have been more plausible if it took place over several weeks, but months (more likely years) would be closer to what one would expect in real life. The difference between "days" and "months (more likely years)" was a little too big a leap for me to be comfortable with the ending of the story. That said, the pulls at the heart were enough to make up for that.
Srock is a good writer. The story moves along nicely, and can be devoured in a quiet afternoon. It's a fun, heartwarming read, with the little girl Iris really stealing the show in the "you're gonna love her" department.
I especially like the way Callie is tied in with an ever-developing blog. I think that's a brilliant idea, and it adds a lot of backstory to the novel for those readers who are looking for it.
© Shelly Bryant, 2012