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Book Review: Between Sundays by Karen Kingsbury

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Karen Kingsbury is one of my favorite Inspirational Fiction authors. In many of her books, I find myself relating to the characters and their struggles and cannot seem to put the novels down. It has taken me a while, however, to pick up her book Between Sundays, which came out in November of 2007. The novel tells the story of the San Francisco 49ers professional football quarterback and superstar Aaron Hill. Not being a big football fan, I was not sure what to expect from the book, but I found myself slightly surprised and glad I decided to read it.

Karen Kingsbury is a USA Today and New York Times bestselling author and America’s top inspirational novelist. She has sold more than 10 million copies of her award-winning books. Many of her recent novels are currently under production as full-length movies and will come to theaters soon, including Like Dandelion Dust, A Thousand Tomorrows, and Gideon's Gift. Karen and her husband Don have six children, three of whom are adopted from Haiti. They make their home in the Pacific Northwest.

Though I do not know much about football, I never felt lost reading Between Sundays, like I thought I would be. Karen does a great job explaining the game of football and making it simple for people, like me, to follow and enjoy the story centered on the sport. In the book, life and what truly matters for the players is not all about what happens on the football field. It is, as one of the characters describes, how the players choose to live between Sundays that really counts in the end.

Aaron’s story is about redemption, when — as God changes his heart — he volunteers for a foster child program and meets Megan Gunn and her foster child, Cory. Eight-year-old Cory is fascinated by Aaron and is convinced Aaron is his biological father. While Aaron searches for truth in his life, he discovers what it really means to love others and live life for something greater than himself. 

Between Sundays reveals many of the struggles foster children go through growing up with foster families. It was close to my heart because both my brother and sister were adopted by my parents and had lived in foster homes before. The story talks about the need foster children have to be loved and the desire they have to be part of a family. Cory’s sweet personality and innocence captured my heart. His character made me want to bring home several foster children and give them everything they need.

Compared to her other books, I did not feel Kingsbury took this plot as deeply as she could. The book was very predictable. Toward the end I felt it was a little drawn out and I just wanted it to be over. Karen, however, always encourages in her writing. Her use of scripture throughout her stories reminds me to keep God and His word present in my life and reminds me at all times he is with me.

I was also reminded of the love of our heavenly Father and the forgiveness He offers as Aaron’s life is transformed. Megan’s character challenges readers to work hard for the things you believe in, to always rely on God to get you through all circumstances, and to simply talk to Him. The book can be enjoyed by anyone, but would be more appreciated by those who enjoy football. Though this is not my personal favorite Kingsbury story, it is definitely one worth reading. Between Sundays is one that challenges, encourages, and touches the heart.

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