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Posted December 2, 2013
Having read numerous Christian prairie romances with mostly unoriginal and unexciting plots, this book initially intrigued me with its very different, adventurous-sounding storyline. However, I did not find it to be so interesting, after all. While there is definitely danger and conflict in both the Africa and New York portions, I found I had very little interest in the characters themselves. Lizzie comes off as self-righteous, petulant, and judgmental, especially with Andrew, so it is somewhat difficult to understand why Andrew falls so deeply in love with her. Her heroism in dealing with the African chief is certainly admirable, though, and she was more pleasant when she got to New York.
I found the all the tribal conflict extremely frustrating, with everyone blaming each other for any misfortune that comes their way, and seemingly no justice to be had for it all. Also, the author never really resolves these conflicts, except at the very end. Literally all that is said is that it was safe for the family to return to their village. Great, but a few more details would have been nice… if I even cared by that point, anyway.
I found the suspenseful scenes in New York far more captivating than the rest of the story, but it was very short-lived. I was amazed at how quickly and easily the conflicts were resolved. And yet, the resolutions are mainly discovered by reading dialogue between Lizzie and Andrew at the end. Then they apparently live happily ever after, but the story will definitely not have any lasting effect on me.
Also, I have to mention that the typos/spelling errors were positively atrocious in this book. Many books have a minor error or two, but this one had quite a few glaring errors. In fact, the same misspelling of a very simple word was made more than once. How embarrassing for an author. I hope her editors do better for her in the future.
Posted May 16, 2012
Posted April 24, 2012
Posted March 29, 2011
In 1921 in Northern Rhodesia, Lizzie MacTavis continues to provide the Lord's word to the locals. She is dedicated to God and to people residing along the Zambezi River.
Anthropologist and explorer Andrew Styles is hired to locate Lizzie and escort her back to New York. When he finds her in Southern Africa, he tries to persuade her to come home. She refuses as she feels her work is here. However, Andrew explains back in America, she has a fortune that can help her adopted impoverished people. Thus, Lizzie reluctantly and tearfully leaves even while vowing to return. In New York, Lizzie is unprepared for falling in love with an unbeliever who may be her enemy and with someone trying to kill her in so called civilized America.
This is an intriguing historical thriller starring a caring missionary who feels safer in Rhodesia than she does in the jungle of New York. Lizzie is terrific as she firmly believes God wants her to remain in Africa, but Andrew makes a convincing case she can do more if she goes home; which she counters is Rhodesia. Though An Ocean Away lacks the intensity of the Mission Hope thriller Blood Ransom (few novels do), readers will enjoy this engaging 1920s tale with its message to embrace God rather than running away from the Lord even when a tragedy strikes a loved one.