When I was 17, I went through a huge life change, and felt that reading had become too important to me. I believe that it was a maturity thing, but also, just the place in my life I was at, was all about giving up things. I gave up many things, but reading was a big one. I read cookbooks and pregnancy books over the next few years, but otherwise, only my bible. It was an interesting time period!
When I was pregnant with my second son, I was very, very sick with morning sickness and could not handle it without a distraction. I prayed about it as it had been over 3 years since I had read a book for enjoyment, and felt like that I was okay to ease back into my love of reading.
I checked out some books from the library, starting with non-fiction and gradually easing back to reading fiction.
One of the first fiction I read was by Karen Kingsbury. I believe it was Where Yesterday lives. I could relate to so much of the real life circumstances in the books, that I was hooked! I read through her books and could not wait until the next one came out!
The books allowed me to cry, when I couldn’t cry. I was able to deal with the struggles in my own life through the imperfect characters of the books and by living through it with them, it was like going through therapy.
But lately, the last few I have read, I was left with that dissatisfied feeling of emptiness and as I tried to read her latest book “Loving”, I was sadly disappointed. The story took a turn that many readers did not expect, which is normal for Karen’s books, but this was different. The fans felt like we were let down! The real life circumstances that we could relate to, seemed instead to be swallowed up in a whirlpool of actors, glitz and glamor that go along with Hollywood. The guy who struggled his way up to doing right and good, finds that the relationship they always wanted was not what they suddenly felt was best for them, and they go separate ways.
It would not be so bad, except that the whole series about this girl, as well as the several series before, you are built up getting to know both people, and it was suddenly you realize…..they are not going to marry each other. She realized that she wants the guy who can fly at the drop of a hat to attend fourth of July, buy her the beautiful house, and live happily producing family friendly films, while the guy she grew up with marries someone else.
I forced my way through this book. I struggled with the whole idealism in the book that is set forth for young women who are seeking happiness. How many young women are reading this book and struggling now that they settled for less than perfect, because the “one true love” never came along?
How many women are reading it and wondering if they settled when they married their “Cody”, and he has issues that he has to deal with in life, when maybe they should have held out for “Brandon”?
There are so many wonderful authors out there, and many of them do not have the success of Karen Kingsbury. I think though when you start writing a certain class of fiction, you are held to a higher standard. You cannot go back and write fairytale romance fiction and not be held accountable. When your book on Amazon has over 80 one star reviews from loyal readers, I think you might have to stop and think, instead of shrugging it off as one star reviews!
Please!!! I beg you, Karen Kingsbury, please reevaluate and go back to writing fiction that we can relate to in real life!!!
I love your older books and really miss them! You are one of my favorite authors and so talented!