When it comes to fiction, there are certain genres I am almost guaranteed to love. And, to be honest, sometimes I have to force myself out of that nice little literary comfort zone. I have learned to do that more frequently of late, and typically the results are very rewarding. Other times, though, my response is a little less enthusiastic.
Such is the case with Making Marion, my most recent review book. This book, sent to my by Kregel on behalf of Lion Hudson, is just not up my alley.
In all honesty, though, it has nothing to do with the talent of the author. It is instead related to my personal preference. In fact, Beth Moran appears to be a very talented author. She can develop character and setting with incredible skill. I found myself quickly picturing the environment and getting to know the characters in Making Marion.
What I did not get into was the plot. I like plots that quickly begin to reveal themselves, even if they take a while to resolve. I like to know why I am reading this book. Making Marion just does not unfold that way. It bounces back and forth between past and present, setting the stage. Moran handles the transition well, but simply moves very slowly toward the point.
Back to positives, though – Moran is not afraid of dealing with some deep issues. The quirky characters in Making Marion have a good deal of baggage. Neglect, abuse, and abandonment, to name a few. Marion herself lost her beloved father at a very young age, and then became mute when her mother accused Marion of talking her father to death. Now an adult, Marion longs to know more about her father. This longing and a single photograph bring her to Sherwood Forest to search for answers.
She has no way of knowing just how serious her search will become.
I will make one additional note: Making Marion is written by a British author. Some of the language and references, while very normal to a British audience, will be offensive to the typical American Christian fiction reader. In fact, it would be better for American audiences to view this as a novel with spiritual leanings rather than a decidedly Christian fiction novel. In all honesty, this is a cultural issue, and you, dear reader, must decide for yourself how you will choose to handle the content.
Bottom line: Making Marion is a debut novel revealing the potential of new author Beth Moran. It might not be to my liking, but that does not at all discredit Moran’s writing skills. Will it be right for everyone? No. Will some enjoy it? Immensely.
This book was sent to be by Kregel in exchange for my honest review.