I have never been able to narrow down a favorite author. I would read one book in a series and be done. That changed last week when I read the first of Karen Kingsbury’s Redemption series, and fell in love with the Baxter family and Kingsbury herself.
The Redemption series follows the Baxter family through some of their worst experiences. The first book, Redemption, mainly follows Kari Baxter Jacobs as she discovers her husband is having an affair and strives to work past it to save her marriage.
Kingsbury teams with Christian counselor Gary Smalley to write a fiction series demonstrating the teachings from Smalley’s counseling center. Fortunately for her readers, Kingsbury does an incredible job developing the Baxter family and introducing each character in a loveable and memorable way.
Kingsbury introduces each member of the Baxter family in a comfortable style, making the characters jump off the page. The Baxter family comes across as a typical family with problems and disagreements. The storyline never feels interrupted by the occasional flashback memories that introduce characters and fill in the backstory in each person’s life. Kingsbury manages to tell several storylines simultaneously without confusing her audience or losing any of the importance of the main plot line. Kingsbury left some loose ends in the story to ensure that the next book in the series is read. Kingsbury sprinkles scriptures throughout the story to remind the reader that they are not just reading fiction, but they are reading fiction that is striving to glorify God.
The twist at the ending was slightly predictable, as Kingsbury alluded to it throughout the story. While the loose ends do ensure more books sales and create more intrigue for some readers, it could also leave the reader feeling cheated. They have just invested their time to find out what happens with Kari Jacobs and the Baxter family, only to find out there are many questions left unanswered.
There were some technical portions of the book that were helpful. There was an afterword by Kingsbury and one by Smalley to explain the concepts within the book. There were also study and reflection questions at the end of the book to enhance the reading experience. Kingsbury also includes the first chapter of the second book with the Kindle version of Redemption. Though it only takes seconds to download a book it is refreshing to be able to sample the second book without having to take any extra time for downloads.
The beginning of the Redemption series promises that many excellent books will follow. Kingsbury uses beautiful emotions to tell the story of a vulnerable and relatable family. The Redemption books have led to several other series featuring the Baxter family, and is possibly the most loved of all Kingsbury’s stories. If you enjoy romance, suspense, and a desire to please God, you will enjoy the first of the Redemption books.