Sunday, July 20, 2008

Leave it to Chance

by Sherri Sand
Author Website:

Available in paperback. David C. Cook, 2008; ISBN: 1434799883; 353 pages.

I've got to be honest. When I first heard the premise of this book, I was more than skeptical. A boy, a girl and a horse. Sounds like a cheesy, teeny-bopper romance - right? I mean, didn't we all dream about having horses and rugged men to come along and reign in our wild, independent streaks with their charm and devastatingly good looks? But then we grew up.

Leave it to Chance FAR exceeded my expectations. I've not been able to put it down! Yes, it has a boy, a girl and a horse, but the story is much more complex than that. And Sherri's writng is fantastic. Her characters are intricately developed. Their struggles are relevant, and their faith is tried. I anticipated a predictable storyline, but instead was pleasantly surprised with each twist of plot and character's choice.

Let me give you a synopsis. Single mom, Sierra, inherits a horse. Her three kids are thrilled, but there's more than one problem. Her ex-husband is behind on child support, she just lost her job, she's about to be evicted, and her overbearing mother wants Sierra and the kids to move in with her. Does she sell the horse to pay the rent and crush her children's hopes in the process? Or keep it and face a bigger problem: her paralyzing fear of horses? Meanwhile a hunky landscaper becomes a role model for her oldest son and a definite distraction for Sierra. At the crux of the book is the issue of trust. God wasn't there for Sierra when she needed Him most, so how can she trust Him now? If she doesn't loosen her need for control, will her children ever forgive her?

The book is filled with endearing characters. My favorites: Elise, Sierra's best friend; a fun, quirky chick and one of very few people Sierra has seen exhibit a sincere, uninhibited relationship with God, and Sid, the hunky landscaper's neighbor and father-figure; an ornery grandfatherly type who challenges everyone around him to be their best and believe the Truth.

Final Thoughts: This is a great summer read! It's light and encouraging. I definitely enjoyed it.

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