Customer Reviews for

Thicker Than Blood

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

A story of love, forgiveness and redemption

In Thicker than Blood, Christy Williams is a book lover. More than that, she's an antique book lover, fast becoming an expert. She works at her dream job in an antique book store, while the owner's son preps her to become a buyer at auction. Then a stolen Hemingway firs...
In Thicker than Blood, Christy Williams is a book lover. More than that, she's an antique book lover, fast becoming an expert. She works at her dream job in an antique book store, while the owner's son preps her to become a buyer at auction. Then a stolen Hemingway first edition leads her back to the younger sister she abandoned years ago, fearing for her life. Christy and May have a bittersweet reunion, but seek to discover if family ties are thicker than blood.

This is a novel that I was able to really sink my teeth into. One of those books with meat to it, if you know what I mean. The characters aren't all shiny, perfect, goody-two-shoes. On the contrary, they have messy, mixed-up lives. Christy is an alcoholic and a smoker. In fact, she nurses a bottle or lights up a cigarette pretty frequently throughout the story, especially when things get rough, as would any real person with addictions. Another thing about her is that she had been living with her unsavory boyfriend, and left him, but allows him to lure her back to his place after bailing her out of jail. See what I mean? Messier by the minute, just like real life, which makes the payoff and the takeaway all the more sweet. There's more, but I don't want to reveal too much.

Thicker than Blood is a Christian Writers Guild award winner, so you can trust its excellence. I intend to watch for more from C.J. Darlington, because I think she'll go far in the Christian publishing business.

posted by DebPiccurelli on January 7, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

Interesting First Novel

It was a good book for a first novel. I did have difficulty getting involved in the story. It seemed to move slowly but about half-way through it picked up and by the end I was definitely involved with the characters. The author has shown a familiarity with both booksto...
It was a good book for a first novel. I did have difficulty getting involved in the story. It seemed to move slowly but about half-way through it picked up and by the end I was definitely involved with the characters. The author has shown a familiarity with both bookstores, book antiquities, and ranchland living at the edge of the Western mountains, two very diverse cultures. The characters are believable and their reactions to their circumstances understandable within the context of the story. The raw emotions and flashbacks of the one sister contrasted nicely with the peaceful but frustrated emotions of the other sister who was trying to learn who her sister really was under the walled layers. I look forward to C.J.'s second novel.

posted by Wyn on January 17, 2010

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  • Posted January 7, 2010

    A story of love, forgiveness and redemption

    In Thicker than Blood, Christy Williams is a book lover. More than that, she's an antique book lover, fast becoming an expert. She works at her dream job in an antique book store, while the owner's son preps her to become a buyer at auction. Then a stolen Hemingway first edition leads her back to the younger sister she abandoned years ago, fearing for her life. Christy and May have a bittersweet reunion, but seek to discover if family ties are thicker than blood.

    This is a novel that I was able to really sink my teeth into. One of those books with meat to it, if you know what I mean. The characters aren't all shiny, perfect, goody-two-shoes. On the contrary, they have messy, mixed-up lives. Christy is an alcoholic and a smoker. In fact, she nurses a bottle or lights up a cigarette pretty frequently throughout the story, especially when things get rough, as would any real person with addictions. Another thing about her is that she had been living with her unsavory boyfriend, and left him, but allows him to lure her back to his place after bailing her out of jail. See what I mean? Messier by the minute, just like real life, which makes the payoff and the takeaway all the more sweet. There's more, but I don't want to reveal too much.

    Thicker than Blood is a Christian Writers Guild award winner, so you can trust its excellence. I intend to watch for more from C.J. Darlington, because I think she'll go far in the Christian publishing business.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 10, 2012

    Captivating Story

    Thicker than Blood is a captivating story. It held my attention so much that I didn’t want to put it down. The main characters Christy and May are sisters that have not had any contact with each other for many years. The story takes us through each of their lives separately and then what happens when they are reunited. This is a beautiful story about sisterly love and forgiveness and God’s ultimate love and forgiveness.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2011

    WOW!

    I loved this book sor much. I could not put it down. It was really great and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I also recommend Bound By Guilt. It's by the same author and just as good.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 7, 2011

    Thoroughly Enjoyed

    I have to say that I enjoyed the places this book took me to. The forgiveness and love between siblings that can never be forsaken. I cant imagine anyone not loving their brother/sister as much as i love mine. Mahalo for taking into account my humble opininon!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 25, 2010

    Thicker Than Blood

    This is a suspenseful story of sisters Christy and May, in very different circumstances, and how they are pulled back into each other's lives. The author weaves her own interest in antiquarian book selling into the story. Though started when the author was 15, this is not a story for young readers. The struggles Christy deals with, some because of poor choices, were vividly portrayed. Her thoughts were shared as she lived through those situations and learned to hope in God.

    I received this book from the author for my review.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 25, 2010

    Great Debut Novel

    In the book Thicker Than Blood by C.J. Darlington there are two sisters Christy and May that are split apart after a tragic event that effects both their lives. Christy has many problems in her life and she turns to booze and cigarettes to help them all go away. When she is arrested for drunk driving she calls a coworker Vince and that is when her worst problems begin. She has to make a decision quickly in order to turn her life around. Christy has a secret that has haunted her for many years.


    Christy's sister May works on a ranch and has been wondering what has happened to her sister. She has tried to contact her many times and has had no luck. Christy shows up one day and brings her problems with her. Christy learns the lessons of compassion and forgiveness that May teaches her. There is a lot of excitement that happens on the ranch especially when Vince starts coming around.

    The book was well written. There were many different elements included in the book such as humor, suspense, mystery, emotions and Christian values. This was the author's debut novel that was written when she was fifteen years old and I am very impressed. I hope that she continues to write, and I look forward to reading her next novel.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 20, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Tale of Two Sisters

    In her debut novel, C. J. Darlington writes as if she's been a best-seller for years. No doubt her experience as a book seller/broker and book lover have aided her, but so have many years of honing her skills in other writing opportunities. It has all come together nicely with Thicker Than Blood, winner of the 2008 Christian Writers' Guild 'Operation First Novel' Contest.

    There are heroes/heroines and villains, chase scenes, fire, threats, gunshots, injuries, internal and external conflict, friendship, loyalty, betrayal, hatred, moments of enlightenment, moments of despair. All the elements are here to make a great story, and C. J. combines them deftly. Her timing is well-paced and the build-up to the climax is maddening! The beginning seems to lag a bit, but that really is normal in setting up the story and the characters. Before long, though, it picks up amd moves quickly.


    I found myself thinking about the story while was doing other things (when I wanted to get to the end but had to do the mundane stuff); I was even imagining possible ways for it all to work out. Some of my ideas were right, but others were really off in left field, out in the cow pasture. Now that I've finished, I want to go back and revisit a few places. For me, this means it's a good book.


    This is not your run-of-the-mill average Christian romance novel, and I'm relieved to pass that on because there are so many romance novels following a set, predictable fomula. I kept looking for romances that didn't happen. I think the romance-gone-bad with Vince help set me up for that. And yet...Not going to spoil it any further. Let's just say it is an excellent Christian fiction novel that doesn't really fit into one of the normal genre cubbyholes, at least as far as I can see.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 30, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Thicker Than Blood: Review

    SYNOPSIS:

    Christy Williams finally has her life back on track. She's putting her past behind her and working hard to build a career as an antiquarian book buyer. But things begin to unravel when a stolen Hemingway first edition is found in her possession, framing her for a crime she didn't commit. With no one to turn to, she yearns for her estranged younger sister, May, whom she abandoned after their parents' untimely deaths. Soon, Christy's fleeing from her shattered dreams, her ex-boyfriend, and God. Could May's Triple Cross Ranch be the safe haven she's searching for? Will the sisters realize that each possesses what the other desperately needs before it's too late? A stunning debut from the latest Christian Writers Guild winner. (From Tyndale Publishing website)

    AUTHOR'S BRIEF BIO:
    C. J. Darlington is the winner of the 2008 Jerry. B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild Operation First Novel contest for Thicker Than Blood, which she began writing as a 15 year-old home school student. She has been in the antiquarian bookselling business for over a decade, scouting for stores before cofounding her own online bookstore. She also cofounded the Christian entertainment Web site www.TitleTrakk.com. Visit her Web site at www.cjdarlington.com.
    REVIEWER'S CRITIQUE:
    Thicker Than Blood is a captivating look into the lives of two sisters, Christy and May Williams, their estrangement, personal struggles, triumphs and their reunion. But it is also a book of healing and love, mercy and grace, and redemption and restoration.
    Ms. Darlington incorporates her own experience as an antiquarian bookseller into Christy's life as her career. But when accusations are made against Christy by her ex-boyfriend and fellow employee of Dawson's Book Barn, her career seems to be over and she heads for May, her sister's, ranch. Upon arrival, Christy soon learns that not all is as it seems at the ranch.
    Thicker Than Blood will cause the reader to reflect upon their own relationship(s) with family members and with God. This book is a thought-provoking and enjoyable read and this reviewer highly recommends it to all lovers of suspense novels.
    In her unique, individualistic way, Ms. Darlington has proven that love is truly Thicker Than Blood.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 29, 2009

    Masterfully written debut novel

    Oh my....What a wonderful novel by debut author C.J. Darlington (and what does C.J. stand for - she's mysterious as well!). I'll start with the thing that I loved the most - the evangelistic angle. C.J. created characters that real people will connect with. And these characters find out, in normal conversation, why they need Jesus and the possibility their lives have if they accept Christ into their hearts. A very clever way to get the gospel across. But even more clever because the sticking points the characters had, you'll have to read the book to find out what they were, are very common. A strong salvation message that meet seekers where they are.

    Alcoholism. Physical abuse. Stealing, Lying. Trust issues. Abandonment. These issues and more are explored in this novel. Each of the characters in Thicker Than Blood sound different. The pacing is perfect. The scenes are skillfully set (I grew up on a horse farm in Upstate New York, so I can tell you the horse and farm scenes are very realistic). And the chapter endings make this novel a page turner - one you simply can't put down.

    A unique and masterfully written novel. Get it and read it - you'll be thankful you did!

    C.J has posted the first chapter on her website, check it out!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2013

    Exciting and suspenseful

    Wholesome christian story line that is exciting. A variety of cowboys, city slickers and criminals. A good read for all ages and interests.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2012

    Recommend highly

    Loved this book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 5, 2012

    loved it

    Wonderful book.

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  • Posted April 26, 2010

    Touching woman's adventure story by 1st-time novelist

    Thicker than Blood sweeps readers right into Christy Williams' troubled life and pulls them along on her journey of pain and discovery. Christy's mistakes and trials prompt readers to root for her all the more. Orphaned on her 18th birthday, Christy abandoned her younger sister, May, and has not had any contact for fifteen years. The death of their aunt tugs their paths back together.

    Each sister thinks their estrangement was her fault, plus both their lives are in turmoil. Christy has problems with alcohol and with her ex-boyfriend, which also affects her job at the antique bookstore. It looks like May will lose the ranch in which she's invested her life. Christy seeks refuge at the ranch, but doesn't seem to be willing to be totally honest with her only living relative. Can their relationship be salvaged?

    C.J. Darlington may have begun writing this as a teen, but it's a fully mature novel waiting to satisfy your reading appetite. I recommend it for older teens and adults. It contains elements to appeal to a variety of interests-books, horses, adventure, danger, and the love of God that binds thicker than blood.

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  • Posted February 11, 2010

    Thicker than Blood by C.J. Darlington

    Christy has made some bad choices in her life. One of them is leaving her sister and family fifteen years ago. Now she's at the point where she feels her life falling apart and wonders if it's possible to re-unite with her sister or not. She's certain her sister will never accept her because of the poor choices she's made. She doesn't feel worthy. She discovers several thefts at the antiquarian bookstore she works at and, threatened, she heads to the sister she hasn't seen in fifteen years.

    Meanwhile her sister, May, on the cattle ranch she lives on, is wondering if Christy is still alive. She worries if she can ever find Christy and if it's possible to reunite again. Christy and her sister, May, need to find out if they can work through the past and start over again.

    I enjoyed reading Thicker than Blood because Christy isn't perfect. Many Christian fiction books have characters that seem too perfect to me so I have a hard time relating to their struggles. Despite all the bad choices Christy made, she has an inner character that she doesn't know she has.

    I really loved that the store centered around antiquarian books and cattle ranching. Books and country living are a huge part of my life and it was really fun to read a book with those topics. This is a fast paced story with a Christian theme and should appeal to anyone who likes stories with faith, hope and suspense.

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    Posted July 19, 2011

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