Twenty-one-year old Elena Richards, disappointed in her shallow dating life,longs for the deep, secure relationship she sees in her parents. While on her family's annual vacation at their cabins on Deer Isle, she meets handsome Todd Langdon. Intrigued by the sadness in his eyes, she finds herself irresistible drawn to him and longs to know more about him. Might the mysterious Todd Langdon be the partner Elena has waited for?
Twenty-six-year-old Todd Langdon has always lived in an unraveling family that stumbles from crisis to crisis. Faced with a turning point, he takes his bitter grandmother, Amanda Faraway to Deer Isle to relive her childhood memories. . . and to seek answers for himself. Instead he meets the energetic, beautiful Elena, and begins to fall in love. But doubts assail him. How can he introduce her to his family? Will she walk away when she learns that his father is about to be released from jail?
Then tumult strikes the Richards. A secret is revealed, and Todd's past comes to light.
I was first drawn to Barbara's book because the coast of Maine is one of my favorite settings, and she does a great job at creating that sense of place through vivid imagery, family outings and clam bakes, and forces of nature, such as hurricanes and dense fog. Penobscot Bay almost becomes a main character.
And it's sweet to watch the romance grow between Todd and Elena, characters with depth in themselves. But the main focus of this novel is pornography and how easily it can creep into our lives, in spite of our best efforts to guard against it. It almost felt like Barbara was using the idyllic beauty of Maine to contrast the evil lure of pornography - light vs. dark. Barbara is both passionate and knowledgeable about this subject, and I applaud her willingness to write on a theme I don't believe I've ever seen addressed in Christian fiction.
I have to mention one little reference that I especially liked, and that is when Todd told Elena how inspired he had been by a Lloyd C. Douglas novel called The Robe. I read this as a young adult and it still touches me today. It is a book that I highly recommend.
An Island Just for Us has strong spiritual themes and is very relevant for today. I recommend it as fiction that will not only cause you to think, but provides some excellent resources.
Visit Barbara's website at barbarahattemer.com to learn more. If you know someone who has been touched by pornography or are just concerned about its effects, Barbara would love to hear from you.
Barbara also mentions two extremely helpful websites: moralityinmedia.org and purelifeministries.org
This book was provided by BookFun.org in exchange for my honest review.