Dec 8, 2020
Some books are "once-in-a-lifetime" books. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is one of mine for reasons I talk about in THIS post. Recently, I read what for me has become another one. Bleak Landing
In what feels like a delightful moment of happenstance, I saw it offered for just $1.99 on Amazon, and when I found the audiobook, listened a bit, and promptly decided I'd make it my next listen. And yep. I did. Oh, and remember how in Episode 34 I mentioned that you can save money by paying attention to Facebook groups and Instagram? Well... stay tuned for how!
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Bleak Landing. It's kind of crazy, but the title alone grabbed me. I had to find out more about it when I saw that $1.99 sale. Once I heard the audio narration, I was sunk--especially when I saw that with my Kindle Unlimited subscription, I could listen to it free! SQUEE!
I'm so glad I did because now I can buy the paperback as well! Perfecto, right?
This episode is an unusual gush, but a gush it is. I loved Bleak Landing, and I hope talking about it will help me unpack why!
Talking about the writing itself, Terrie Todd uses a fabulous blend of simple writing that is deceptively complex. It becomes more and more so as the main character, Bridget O'Sullivan matures. Told in the first person, I loved even that part of it because of how Ms. Todd handled it.
Characterization is positively brilliant I didn't like Bridget after a while, but I loved her and cared about her, and I cheered when I could like her again. In fact, all of the characters possessed dual personalities in that even if we liked or disliked them, there was some aspect that contradicted their primary personality traits. That kind of complexity worked well--beautifully, even.
I've since listened to another of Terrie Todd's books, and prayer was a big part of it as well--even bigger, actually. What I love about it is how the author shows that prayer is something we do, but we have no right to expect results. Note: The writer does this through excellent writing and plotting rather than actual preaching (thankfully!). Spiritual elements in this book are used in practical ways and shown in the lives of the characters rather than inserted to create a "Christian" book. Instead, they are masterfully woven into the story.
Speaking of excellent writing, I saw parallels in Bleak Landing with a couple of other well-known books: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, as previously mentioned and Anne of Green Gables.
Bleak Landing is recommended for lovers of excellent Christian fiction, historical fiction, and WWII fiction. Yes, this book has romantic elements, but it mostly reads almost like light literary fiction. So beautiful.