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take a chance

Ivy Madison moved to Deep Haven, Minnesota with a simple wish list: make a difference as the assistant county attorney, find her place in a small town community, and maybe–just maybe–land a man.

But Ivy gets more than she bargained for when, on impulse, she bids during the VFW auction and lands single father Darek Christiansen as her date. Not only is this handsome bachelor baggage-laden, his past and Ivy’s work are more connected than either of them know.

As they seek to build on their fragile beginnings of a relationship, they and their friends have to learn how to face the past, forgive and accept forgiveness, and surrender to God before they can truly experience second chances.

Susan May Warren’s Take a Chance on Me is a beautiful tale of new beginnings. The characters wrestle with themselves, their pasts, and their misconceptions about God’s love. Warren tackles such issues as anger with God over injustice, and feeling unloved or forgotten by God because of past hurts. And she uses everyday emotions combined with humor to bring the story to life.

I enjoyed the conflict in this novel and how the characters’ lives intertwined in complex but not overly predictable ways. I also liked how the tension grew as the story progressed.

But while Warren uses beautiful language to establish setting and paint the picture of Deep Haven in the reader’s mind, it was done so often that sometimes it blurred character voice. For example, while in a male point of view the lake was described thus: “The afternoon sun turned the water to a rich sapphire, a few boaters spraying diamonds into the sky.” Men, at least the men I know, don’t think in such flowery terms. Descriptions were so detailed that most of the characters were shown down to the earrings and shoes accessorizing their outfits.

Another weakness of the story was that it was dominated by narrative in the form of inner reflection and backstory, which made it somewhat of a slow read for me. The morals, lessons learned, and character journeys, however, were solidly founded. I gave it three out of five stars.

This book will be included in the book giveaway at the end of the Seven Books in Seven Weeks series.

Click here for the list of the remaining books: Seven Books in Seven Weeks: The List .