Jan 12, 2013

The Breath of Dawn, by Kristen Heitzmann

“The Breath of Dawn” tells the story of Morgan and Quinn.  Morgan is a successful businessman who has amassed a fortune and gained ample recognition by assisting companies solve their problems and directing them back into a profitable direction.   But he now finds purpose in living only in his 2-year old daughter, after losing his wife and older daughter.  Quinn makes a living by buying items from old estates and reselling them on e-bay, and has tried to isolate herself as much as possible, because she fears her past and Markham, the dangerous man she witnessed against years ago.  They  meet when a house is about to come to the market and both are interested in it – Quinn buys and sells items while Morgan plans to turn it into a home for him and Livie, his daughter.

When Markham is released from jail, the threatening messages start and Quinn sees her worst nightmare come true.  At this point, she has become way too close to Morgan and his family and fears for their safety.  She finally opens up to Morgan, the ever problem-solver that likes to take things in his own hands and offers an alternative that seems to jeopardize their future instead of securing it.

When I started reading this book, I wasn’t aware that it was the third one in the series; it took me a while to become suspicious about the characters.  When the rest of the Spencers are brought in the story, it was good to share their Christmas celebration; their family life has its ups and downs, but it is encouraging to see people believing in God and staying true to godly principles despite difficult circumstances.

Up to this point, “The Breath of Dawn” is another token of Kristen Heitzmann’s wonderful ability to weave plots together, keep the reader interested and depict Godly characters. It all seems to be well, but there are aspects of the book that wander off of the Bible and flirt with a current idea of romance that is not godly at all. I am particularly referring to two aspects that have left me with a “cheap novel” aftertaste; by this I mean a novel that seems to be more interested in tickling the senses and finding a good marketing selling point than in portraying a character or situation from which the readers  can learn Biblical principles. 

The first one is the supernatural aspect of the basement; I presume that the author wanted to add suspense to the story by writing about ghosts and “a presence,” but it is just distracting, it doesn’t add anything to the story and is left unresolved.

The second one has to do with one aspect of Morgan’s solution – (SPOILER ALERT) please note that the rest of this paragraph contains information that will reveal some details of the story, but I need to include this so that I can explain why I find it so distasteful and out of line with the rest of the story.  Always the problem solver, Morgan comes up with an extreme idea that, while providing a quick solution for Quinn and which might come later in time anyway, seems too forced and almost borderline of being a one-night stand. The author “covers her bases,” by having Morgan arrange a quick marriage to Quinn, out of the country and arranging a sort of dream honeymoon that might captivate a lot of readers, as it is the epitome of honeymoons, full of luxuries and money available, ready to quench any whim and craving.  This is a side of Morgan completely opposite to the “family side” of Morgan; it does look like the book implies that a mere convenience is a good enough reason to get married.

In this sense, this book is very far from offering a good alternative to clean, Christian entertainment,  implying that Biblical principles and ethics and morals are gray and can be blended into the current worldview - the main reason why I advice to read it with caution, or even better, not read it at all.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers. This has not biased my opinion on the book or on the author.

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