“Substitutes Props for characters, End for narration and Quantity over Substance”
Remember by Karen Kingsbury and Gary Smalley is the second book in the Baker Family Chronicle by Karen, which is also called the Redemption series. The truth is, It is more precisely described as a nagging drama of Ashley Baxter and her return to the Baxter fold. The story revolves around the lives of The Baker kids and is set a few years after the previous book (Redemption) left off. The book follows a similar line of thought and narrative as Redemption and mostly revolves around Catholicism and it’s ideals in keeping with the previous book. But with all the respect I have for the Catholicism, this books fails abysmally, it neither succeeds in conveying the relevance nor the necessity of this principles in day-to-day life. The book manages only to show off its characters as depraved and enchanted.
The book is neither a precious piece of literature nor is it interesting to dedicate oneself to. In fact it is one book that you can totally skip without the fear of missing out on anything of value. But the book may come in handy if all you are interested in reading is an uncomplicated story of people whose lives are needlessly complicated, or if you find yourself in a long train ride with no admirable company whatsoever.
The issue with the book is not the over inducement of Christian teachings in it but the sheer inability of the author to look at her characters as humans with their own lives and stories. She treats most of them as props to guide her protagonists to the predefined destination. She is brutal to her sub cast, she labels them as good and evil without ever bothering to view them as children of circumstances nor does she explains why anybody, even her main characters act the way they do. The book for some reason has defined the end first and the narrative just craves to reach there and in this blind pursuit it loses out on the journey and the characters.
Remember by Karen Kingsbury is yet another example of why she is called a Christian author, But beyond that she makes no claims and her claims make no fame. She is an author who sadly lost the story for the end. These are but few of the several reasons that made Remember by Karen Kingsbury quickly climb up high on the list of the worst books I read this season. Redemption was by far a few notches better than its successor.
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“The perfect travel companion, blissfully light and engaging”.
Redemption by Karen Kingsbury is the first in the Redemption series, A trilogy revolving around the Baxter family, a highly religious and orthodox family living in Bloomington, Indiana. Redemption, the first book in the series redemption revolves around Kari Baxter. When Kari Baxter finds out that her husband, Tim Jacobs a college professor who is having an illicit affair with his understudy, her whole world falls apart. She is further devastated when he asks for a divorce. The much distraught Kari takes to religion and its echelons to save her and her marriage from this crisis.
Redemption is the story of betrayal and as the name of the book gives away ‘redemption’, Karen reiterates that the troubles of Kari are not enough reason to throw away a otherwise perfect marriage away and that marriage like all relationships require care and effort. Redemption is by far Karen’s effort to convince the reader that even perceivably devastating betrayals in marriage can also be forgiven and a that a stronger marriage can at times be redeemed from these ashes.
Karen builds up a fairly elaborate family, each member with their own problem and in midst of her narrative she occasionally takes a detour to ramp the reader up on the background stories of the rest of the Baxter. Even then she forgets many main characters and fails to build them up, unfortunately they just remains as names and references. The most unforgivable of those is the story of Angela, Tim’s lover. Even though she is central to the story she is conveniently forgotten. The story and its over reliance on religion and not on reason and the fact that the very story that is central to the book, the story of how the reconstructs their broken marriage is ill developed and leaves gapping holes and enormous in-continuity in the narration.
Otherwise the 360 odd page page-turner is a fairly light read, its one book that could keep you company during a short journey and would provide you with reasonable amount of entertainment. It however doesn’t reach up-to the authors reputation of being an inspirational masterpiece.
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It was in one such night that I saw her, her real self her heart and her being. We knew each other much before and may be we were even what could be called as acquaintances but never friends. But that night changed it all, that one night. The night when I sat across from her, the night when our yes met not for the first time but for still the first time. I had known her before but that night when our eyes net under slow burning street lambs we came to know each other. That night under the simmering glow of the electric street lamb, in the bitter coldness of the European winter we met for the first time.
I must have known that the silence we shared was but only the beginning of a life long journey. A journey that would transform our selves and transcend our being. In that silence when our eyes met I saw something in her eyes that was burning, it was not revenge, it was not anger, it was not love and it certainly was not the glow of the hope but it was the reminiscent glow of the despair coming from the ashes of burned up dreams.
It took me aback to a darker time when the whole world was but the four walls of a prison cell for me, the days when my innocent dreams where held captive in the heavy chains, when the wings of my colorful dreams were clipped and all around was just darkness, blood and despair.
That night under the simmering glow of the electric street lamb, in the bitter coldness of the European winter in her eyes I saw my eyes, I saw the same feelings, the same heart break. I was reminded of my death and my consecutive birth. I was reminded of the struggle and the daunting face of death and its giant red eyes staring down through you. Even when I write this my hand tremble with unimaginable fear and my heart beats as if time is scanty and life is terribly short.
That was the night I met myself, my silhouette in that silence I was acquainted with. Hers where the eyes of my past, her gently bosom bore the scars of the same torture that I endured. Her emancipated skin wore like a cheap gown the texture of undignified death. She reminded me of the times I had almost died and the times I almost gave up. The taste of her coarse lips reminded me of the stale and the dirt, the miserable life that I had escaped. And all around me was darkness I could see it crawling under my skin. Like a vicious creature it was coming towards me to consume what was left of me. There I lay in her hands, pressed against her cold body, with my lips just dangling above her sinister lips. In that truth of moment I realized that this is what I am and what have been and she is silhouette. The darkness of the past was but my past and I was as inseparable from it as darkness was from light itself.
That night under the simmering glow of the electric street lamb, in the bitter coldness of the European winter I met me for the first time and there we embarked on a lifelong journey of redemption.