Saturday, December 7, 2013

Submerged by Dani Pettrey

Submerged   Bailey Craig was the bad girl in high school.  She drank a little too much and slept around.  Twelve years a later she's sober and has earned a doctorate in Russian history (or something like that).  Despite being on the straight-and-arrow she still feels tremendously guilty and ashamed about her behavior in high school.  Fortunately, Bailey now lives in Oregon, far away from her Alaskan hometown and the people who knew her (and tormented her) in high school.  She had no intention of ever setting foot back in Yancey, Alaska again.  Then she gets a phone call telling her that her Aunt Agnes, a woman who was there for her when her parents weren't, has died in a plane crash.  Bailey returns to Yancey, intending only to stay long enough to attend the funeral and settle her aunt's affairs, but then...

A few years ago I went to Alaska.  It is one of the most beautiful places on earth that I've ever seen.  I am equally intrigued by its history.  Submerged is set in Alaska.  That and the fact that the blurb on the cover promised "romantic suspense" pretty much meant I had to read it.  It is the literary equivalent of a Lifetime or Hallmark movie.  I mean that as a compliment.  It has a simple plot, is light and quick, and has a perfect Hollywood ending.  I found this in the fiction section of a Christian bookstore, which is to say there is a heavy emphasis on redemption and religion.  There is no subtlety on this point.  Bailey's past sexual indiscretions and her eventual redemption are a major theme in the story.  This lack of subtlety is my only real criticism.  I mean, seriously high school is so over.  It's been twelve years.  Bailey has stopped drinking, found God, and has her life is well on track - get over high school already.  Anyway, notwithstanding the heavy handed handling of Bailey's past, I enjoyed the book.  It was exactly was I was in the mood for, but then I love Hallmark and Lifetime movies.

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