Wednesday, July 3, 2013

BOOK REVIEW: The Blue Bottle Club by Penelope J. Stokes



✭✭✭✭

ABOUT THE BOOK (from Amazon):

On the eve of the Depression, four adolescent girls confide their dreams on paper and commit them to posterity by storing them in a blue bottle in an attic. Sixty-five years later, a jaded female television reporter finds their girlhood wishes and determines to track the women down. While the plot may sound predictable, the protagonists are not; Stokes offers some of the strongest, most appealing women characters ever to appear in evangelical fiction (which is not a genre famous for its three-dimensional females). The novel has a happy ending, but not in the traditional sense of many evangelical novels written for a female audience: no godly heroes come riding in on white horses to rescue these women from poverty, abandonment and despair. Their stories involve broken dreams and betrayed hearts, but speak to an ultimate victory that is centered in God's unconditional love and their lifelong friendships with other women. (Beliefnet, Aug. 2000) -- From Beliefnet

MY REVIEW:

First of all, I really enjoyed this book and I want to make sure that statement is clear before you read anything else.

That said, there are a lot of grammatical errors in the book.  Not just a few here or there, but a LOT.  Missing punctuation and typos are very distracting to me when I'm reading, but I enjoyed the story so much that once I was into it, I happened to notice those issues less often - not that they were occurring any less often, they just didn't distract me as much from the story.  However, the version I read was the ePub version through my library and my guess (from my own experience) is that many of the errors were due to the conversion of the document to ePub format, not the author's errors.  I still thought this feedback was important for potential readers (and the author/publisher).

About a quarter of the way through the book, I started to have some concerns about the religious theme that was developing and where it was headed.  However, I found that as I read on, it got better (for me).  The religious theme did not seem overly aggressive to one particular viewpoint, which I liked.  I read some negative reviews from people who probably have stronger one-sided religious views than I do.  It is no surprise that the writer of a spiritually themed book cannot please everyone because we all have different opinions when it comes to religion and God.  However, I did not read into the religious theme that much, I just took it for what it was - a lighthearted, spiritually uplifting book.

Overall, the story line hooked me.  I loved the characters, I loved the overall message.  I would recommend this book for any woman who enjoys fiction, stories about friendship and has an interest in things of a spiritual nature.