3/23/2009

Blog Tour: If Tomorrow Never Comes

I'll be upfront right here and let you all know that I couldn't make it past chapter 3 of this book. So I gave it to my sister (who is much more able to push herself through something) to review. Here are her thoughts.

You can find the book on Amazon here.

Infertility is not as central to the book’s storyline as the back cover makes it seem. The main character, Kinna, is definitely obsessed with having a child. She thinks that a baby will solve all the problems in her life. This is very immature thinking, and very much inline with the thought processes of the pregnant teens I’ve worked with at the pregnancy resource center. They imagine that a baby will give them unconditional love, that the baby’s father will love them and marry them, that they will get enough money to live on from the government, and maybe even a free apartment to live in. Magical thinking, that a baby will bring only positive changes into their lives. Kinna is thinking this way too…that a baby will heal her marriage, and make her feel whole. What a huge amount of pressure to put on a helpless baby! So Kinna takes drastic action, doing everything she can think of to get pregnant, manipulating her husband, praying that God will grant her favors like He OWES her a baby, racking up thousands of dollars of debt, and even stealing fertility drugs from the hospital where she works.

Despite all this, the infertility issue could be easily swapped out for any other obsession in this plot line. Kinna could instead be fixated on drugs or alcohol, or gambling, or popularity/fame, or material possessions. The point of the book is simply that she needs to focus on God’s plan instead of her own.

How does God get Kinna’s attention? He warps His own laws of space/time physics and sends Kinna’s daughter back from the future to intervene. The author tries to justify this at the end of the book by asking the reader to think about how much God loves you...that He loves you so much that He might make the impossible happen (because nothing is impossible for God) in order to show you He loves you. I see the point, but find the implementation of it simply ridiculous.

Once God has the attention of both Kinna and her husband, he focuses them on simply remembering the infatuation they had for each other when they were children (literally). The author tries to pass it off as true love, but their childhood relationship bears little resemblance to authentic love much less their relationship as they have matured in age. The author has them both flash back to various scenes where they built sandcastles on the beach while pretending that they are Disney prince and princess. Or all the times when both of their parents told them to stay away from each other but they rebelled and dated anyway. Many of the flashbacks are of Kinna viewing Jimmy as a rejected, broken puppy that she will rescue and heal. These are the images of ‘love’ they are to recapture as the means of focusing on God’s plan for them. I am appalled that any pastor would have married Kinna and Jimmy…the relationship is little more than codependent rescuing. For example, what woman who truly loves a man would permit him to take a job in construction in order to stay in town near her rather than attend the full-scholarship college degree that he has won? The college degree that would have benefited both them and their future family for the rest of their lives?

Interestingly, Kinna will be rewarded with a baby in the next book, seeming to be literal about the verse in Psalms that if you give yourself to God that He will give you the desires of your heart. Real life rarely works this magical way. (Beth's note: the verse doesn't even say that it will - it is probably the most out of context verse in the Bible and that drives me insane. God is not a gumball machine.)

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