So, for this installment of Let’s Review Wednesday, we’re doing something a little different. Tracings is partnering with Ann Lee Miller, the author of Kicking Eternity, to host a giveaway. Between now and next Wednesday’s review, everyone who leaves a comment with their email address linked to it will receive a free copy of Ann’s novel. If you don’t want to leave your email address, you may contact Ann directly via her website (see below for URL) to request your free copy.
Note: If you put more than one email address or URL in your comment, the blog’s filter will treat it as spam and direct it to that folder, so one address per comment only, please.
Kicking Eternity is set at the New Smyrna Beach Surf and Sailing Camp, also known by staffers as Triple S, but it’s not about the camp. It’s about the young adults who staff it – their struggles, dreams and desires.
Raine Zigler, the camp’s Bible teacher, dreams of being a missionary to Africa. She’s already set the wheels in motion, buying her plane ticket and passport, but conflicts with her father and drug-addict brother Eddie, as well as growing attractions to two of her fellow camp staffers, complicate matters.
Drew Martin, recreation activities director and worship singer/musician, is also thinking of Africa; a children’s choir director position has opened up and he would be a good fit. It would take him away from his present life, where his older brother has gone to Japan for a two-year missionary stint, leaving him anchorless in the growing storm of his struggle with past love. Drew is drawn to Raine but wonders if former girlfriend Samantha truly is the wife God has for him, as he once believed.
Cal Koomer, the art teacher, rebels against the religious upbringing his parents gave him and his brother Jesse, who runs Triple S. Cal also is attracted to Raine and it seems to be mutual, but she shuts him down every time he gets close. Meanwhile, his long-time friend Aly Logan is also at the camp, and his past romantic feelings for her add to his confusion.
While telling their stories, Miller explores themes of forgiveness, love, commitment to one’s beliefs, and the need to face the truth about one’s self and situation. She also deals with hard issues, delving into the impact of drug abuse on the user’s family and briefly touching on the issue of pornography addiction.
Kicking Eternity doesn’t present a sanitized version of Christians’ lives. The main characters are complex people with real struggles and questions of faith. The book comes to the end I expected, but leaves room for a continuation of at least one story line in a sequel.
All in all, I found it to be a thought-provoking, faith-affirming, thoroughly enjoyable read.
She loves speaking to young adults and guest lectures on writing at several Arizona colleges. When she isn’t writing or muddling through some crisis — real or imagined — you’ll find her hiking in the Superstition Mountains with her husband or meddling in her kids’ lives.
Kicking Eternity is available online at Amazon.
Up next week: Samantha Fury’s Street Justice: Charlie’s Angel