Friday, September 2, 2011

Review of Worlds Collide by Alison Strobel

Rating: 4 Stars
~  ~  ~
Synopsis from Waterbrook Multnomah: While the headlines screamed “Hollywood Heartthrob Marries Girl Next Door,” the public relationship of Jack Harrington and Grace Winslowe never revealed the private struggles that threatened to pull them apart–and when celebrity biographer Jada Eastman starts digging, she discovers that there’s more to this couple than anyone could guess.

Their relationship began like a scene from one of Jack’s movies. Leaving behind a dead-end relationship and the bitter Chicago winter, Grace had moved to Southern California to start a new life. Meanwhile, Jack had established himself as an up-and-comer with considerable acting talent, and a private heartache. When a fateful accident pulled the two of them together, they couldn’t avoid their initial attraction or the vast differences in their values and lifestyles.

Now, against the backdrop of Beverly Hills and the 24/7 nature of the entertainment world, Jada grapples with her own beliefs as she encounters the spiritual chasm of this famous couple. Can Grace and Jack face the consequences of their own personal histories–and can the biographer avoid being affected? As the three of them examine the couple’s bittersweet story, it becomes clear that everyday decisions can carry lifetime consequences when individual worlds collide.

Review: Worlds Collide by Alison Strobel was a pleasant surprise and unlike any novel that I have read in the past.  The plot, structure, and characters are intriguing and pull you into the novel and resonate after you finish the last page.  It is both heart-rending and triumphant, key ingredients for a worthy read.  

Unlike most Christian fiction novels, which are generally "Rated G," I would classify this novel as "Rated PG-13" because of the subject matter and lifestyles portrayed.  Ultimately, the themes of faith, redemption, and unconditional love shine through.  Strobel formats Worlds Collide like a biography, told from the perspectives of three main characters: biographer, Jada Eastman; Hollywood star, Jack Harrington; and Jack's wife, Grace.  Each individual is realistic, flawed, and searching for fulfillment.  

Strobel paints a vivid picture of Jack Harrington's loose Hollywood lifestyle and clearly illustrates that money and fame cannot buy contentment.  As Jake and Grace reflect on their lives, we watch them become Christians and change not only their lives, but the lives of countless others. Their conversion, struggles, pains, and doubts are tangible and relevant.  The glimpses provided into their former, more worldly lifestyles, especially Jack's, make the reformations even more significant and satisfying. 

I enjoyed watching the relationship blossom between Jack and Grace. The progression to their first meeting is slow at times, but lays a strong foundation for the challenges and successes they face later in their relationship. Jada's role is much more secondary, offering occasional reactions and insight into the story we are hearing along with her. We don't learn very much about Jada's life, but she provides yet another example of a life changed by the Harrington's faith. 

Worlds Collide is a modern-day Cinderella story, and while the ending is not fairy tale perfect it is very real.  As I overhear the latest Hollywood scoop, I realize that Hollywood and the world, in general, needs more people like Jack and Grace.  More worlds should "collide" with these two fictional characters created by Alison Strobel.

Worlds Collide is available for purchase at the following locations:
Christian Book DistributorsAmazonBarnes & Noble

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Multnomah/ WaterBrook Press through their book review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed above are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...