Monday, July 13, 2009

Julie Lessman's Daughters of Boston Series Review

I have had the honor and privilege to read Books 1, 2 & 3 of Julie Lessman's Daughters of Boston series. To quote the Romantic Times, "This isn't your mother's inspirational fiction!"

And boy howdy is it not! As a romantic, I fell in love with the O'Connor women. Julie wrote about historical scenarios each and every one of us can relate to. We've all struggled with how much is "too much" when your dating. I have a friend who experienced Faith's story of loving a man who didn't love her and wasn't a Christian, either. I myself experienced Lizzie's story of falling in love with a "big brother" type who couldn't see past his nose. Charity's story of redemption is easily recognizable by women who have troubled backgrounds or less-than-savory reputations.

Julie deals with HARD issues in her books, putting them in the "edge inspirational fiction" category. And as a therapist, I loved them all! Familial betrayal and backstabbing. Rape. Incest. Alcoholism. War. Assault and battery. Sibling death. Domestic violence. Lying. Cheating. Deception. Suicide. Caught between two loves. All of these and more are touched in in these three books, some more than others. Some are mentioned through backstory development. Some take front and center stage. Characters in each of her books could have really benefitted from some joke. One actually gets some minisiterial counseling, which was nice to read. I might have to do some character therapy for these guys and gals down the road...if I ever run out of people writing in, I just might. :-)

Of course, she also dealt with passion - between married couples and dating couples. I believe Julie has hit upon a huge market of women in the Christian fiction world who hunger and thirst for their toes to curl and their own hearts to beat fast at the anticipation of yet another romantic scene. I confess, I often flipped through pages just to see how long I had to read until I got to another kissing scene. :-) Women love to get caught up in a good love story. And I do mean LOVE story. Why do you think I read all my mom's old Harlequins under the sink in the guest bathroom when she wasn't looking? Now, I get all the emotional rush of reading one of those more classically defined "smut" novels incorporated into a book that has Jesus (or the very real need for Jesus) on every page.

I think what I loved the most about her books was the true depth of feeling she brought to the emotions her characters experienced. I got emotional several times (of course, I'm a huge sucker for a long-awaited wedding) and I believe it was in large part to how Julie depicted the scenes. Her description is wonderful. Plain and simple. She draws the reader in with incredibly original metaphors, action-packed verbs and an enviable deep POV.

I highly recommend these books (duh!) and suggest you start with your moms after you've read them. Were my grandmother living, I might give them to her to read. She just might not be as scandalized as I thought she would be. Real women aren't prudish, so the books we read shouldn't have to be. Praise the Lord!

Thanks, Julie, for sharing your God-given talent. I can't wait to be an influencer for you!

I hope you want to pick up these wonderful books and support Julie. I'm afraid my own copies are on my keeper shelf. :-) Be sure to come back Wednesday...I'm giving away Mary Connealy's new release, Montana Rose!

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Tara said...

Great review. I agree our books shouldn't have to be prudish!

I don't know if it's just my computer or an early morning clitch, but I couldn't see the photos.

Jeannie Campbell, LMFT said...

Thanks for letting me know about the photos, Tara! I think I fixed it. :)
Thanks for stopping by, too!

PatriciaW said...

Great review, Jeannie. Which was your favorite? Mine was the last one, A Passion Denied

Jeannie Campbell, LMFT said...

honestly, i think my favorite was the first....absolutely could NOT put it down. :)

Katie Ganshert said...

Great review Jeannie! Thanks for sharing!!

Jody Hedlund said...

You summarized the series so well! I recently read the first one and enjoyed it immensely!

Danyelle said...

Great summary. It sounds like a great series. :D

Jessica said...

I'm itching to read this third one! Like you, I flew through her books enjoying every single bit of emotion. I love that she shows real passion between people. Great books!
I passed my copies onto my mom too! LOL

Jeannie Campbell, LMFT said...

jess - that is funny! mom's reading mine, too. :)

sherrinda said...

I loved, loved, loved these books! In fact, I was going to blog about them, but you did it soooo well! She is such a master at the depth of feeling behind the passion and she keeps it in the context of God's boundaries. I like that it is real life...things we all experience. My teen daughter (upper teen) is reading the first one. I am hoping it gives her a good perspective regarding the physical side of relationships. (I must say though it may be hard to get her to read the second one! She thinks Charity is a brat and just makes her mad!) Ahhhh, what a great character Charity is!

Jeannie Campbell, LMFT said...

sherrinda - after i won the first book off your blog, julie sent me the second one and wrote, "if anyone needs a "therapist," it's out girl charity!" i emailed her and told her she would have her work cut out for me to like charity! :) but she did such a great job. you should still bog about them...since you're looking at them from a historical writer's perspective, as well.

Julie Lessman said...

Hey, JEANNIE, WOW, thanks again for the great review, my friend! And, yeah, I just HAD to send you the 2nd book because I knew if anybody could help Charity, it would be you ... :)

TARA ... "prudish" is a word that readers will definitely never use to describe my books and three cheers for that! God is a God of passion, and I for one want to celebrate this wonderful gift of passion that He has given us and glorify Him in the process.

Hey, PATRICIA ... Most people seem to like book 3, A Passion Denied, the best, but I have to admit that for a long, long time, book 2, A Passion Redeemed, was my favorite. But since Denied came out, now I love them both the same.

KATIE ... I recognize your "Seeker" face, girl!!

Hi, JODY, nice to see you here too, and thanks again for reading book 1!

DANYELLE ... Well, I HOPE it's a "great series," but you will have to be the judge of that, I'm afraid.

JESSICA ... another "Seeker" face!! Thanks for passing the books onto your mom (you, too, Jeannie!) -- much appreciated! And I think I have one more contest giveaway listed on my website calendar, so why not try to win the third book there?

SHERRINDA!!!!! How are you, girl?? Thanks for your kind words AND for letting your teen daughter read my book too! Let me know if she likes book 1 enough that she just has to read Charity's story anyway, okay?


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