Friday, April 16, 2010
Stretch Marks: A Novel
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: David C. Cook; New edition (September 1, 2009)
From the Back Cover:
Mia is a granola-eating, sensible shoe–wearing, carbon footprint–conscious twenty-something living in a multicultural neighborhood in Chicago. Her mother, Babs, is a stiletto-wearing Zsa Zsa Gabor type who works as an activities hostess on a Caribbean cruise line … and if you guessed there’s some tension there, you’d be right. Factor in an unexpected pregnancy and Mia’s idealistic boyfriend—Lars is such a visionary he doesn’t believe in the institution of marriage—and the mother-daughter relationship is, well, stretched very thin. As is Mia’s sanity when Babs shows up to … help.
With a healthy dose of wit and a touch of whimsy Kimberly Stuart takes on the challenge of a prickly yoga enthusiast who inadvertently ends up pregnant by her tree-hugging, commitment/job-phobe live-in. This alone is enough to challenge Christian fiction readers. But that's not all this novel is about. Toss in the estranged mother who is opposite in all ways and pushy about it. Add a touching teen Juno situation and a will-they, won't-they romantic scenario and, well, you get the general idea, lots of drama and opportunity for change.
This out-of-wedlock pregnancy from a live-in arrangement is a plot enthusiastically brought to you by David C. Cook who seem to have heard the cry of those who are looking for realistic fiction with a bit of heavenly hope tossed in. I applaud the decisions being made at David C. Cook. Not only are the recent novels edgy, but they are well-written.
The scenario of Mia and her unraveling life leaves a lot of opportunity for Mia to come to terms with reality. She is forced to look at the world a little differently since she is carrying a child. The Christian elements in this novel are light. You won't find verses at the beginning of each chapter. Sensitive readers may find a bit to squirm about as Mia and company aren't exactly embracing a Christian walk. There was maybe a bit too much story which hindered some development of a couple of relationships and some timing issues popped up now and again.