Thicker Than Blood is a debut Christian novel by C. J. Darlington. It received an award for Christian fiction, some glowing reviews, and revolves around a stolen antique book. Enough to draw my attention.
The story, about two sisters who’ve lost total contact with each other for 15 years, moves smoothly between both viewpoints. By the time the sisters are reacquainted the reader understands what drove and kept them apart. In Christy Williams we see a woman both troubled and in trouble. Ashamed of her past, she feels trapped into an equally dubious future. Her younger sister May, on the other hand, has finally attained her childhood dream only to see it slipping away.
When I read a novel set in the present, I don’t want the characters to overcome their problems too easily, or escape consequences for their actions just because the writer desires to give me a happy ending. It’s unsatisfying and, in my opinion, portrays a false understanding of salvation and grace. C.J. Darlington didn’t fall into this trap, for which I thank her. At the end of the book -- without giving anything away -- many things are better for the two sisters, but not all their problems have been swept away.
Thicker Than Blood is a solid first Christian novel. There’s every reason to expect the writers second book will be even better.
(I received this book without charge from the Tyndale House in exchange for a review. I don’t review books that I wouldn’t consider reading anyway, and don’t give special consideration to books I receive for free. All opinions are my own. Honestly.)