Tuesday, January 18, 2011

All For One-Melody Carlson

All For One
Melody Carlson
David C. Cook, Mar 1 2011, $14.99
ISBN: 9781434764935

In Clifdon, Oregon, the fifty-something four Lindas continue to be there for one another since they recently reunited after decades apart (see Hometown Ties).

Abby suffers from sleep deprivation because she keeps a vigil, watching over her husband of their-five years Paul, who suffered a heart attack recently. She has even neglected renovation of her Coastal Cottage B&B that she loves so her three friends led by Marley perform an intervention.

Caroline knows her mother belongs in a care facility as the Alzheimer’s has gotten worse. She is away from the house when a fire breaks out while a substitute care provider attends her mom. Severely burned her mom survives on life support that Caroline wants unplugged. The lead detective believes Caroline tried to kill her mom. While her boyfriend Mitch is overseas, her friends Abby and Marley investigate while Janie provides legal support. Her abusive brother arrives for the funeral with demands on his beleaguered sister.

Divorced Marley worries about her adult son Ashton who sounds suicidal and depressed. She brings him home where she prays her friends and her potential boyfriend Jack will welcome her gay son.

Janie’s boyfriend Victor is having second thoughts since his first wife and mother of his two adult sons Donna has moved into his home. Donna makes it crazily clear that they remain married under God’s law though she divorced him and remarried.

Although the four prime subplots move forward as expected, the third Lindas entry is a terrific Christian contemporary tale that focuses on several modern day social issues confronting the Church and society as a whole. Each is handled with the dexterity expected from Melody Carlson as All for One is a strong character driven drama.

Harriet Klausner

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