I discovered Karen Kingsbury about a year ago. I think everyone should be required to read her series on the Baxter family. These are some of the most wonderful books I have ever read. The original series was the Redemption series written with Gary Chapman. Chapman is Christian counselor and has written a number of non-fiction works on family and marriage. He collaborated with Kingsbury to create a series that incorporated what he teaches into fiction. And wow does it work!
The central family in the Redemption series are the Baxters. After this series, Kingsbury felt led to write 2 other series connected to the Baxters. The Firstborn series (which was great!) and the Sunrise series.
Summer is book 2 of the Sunrise series. I keep waiting for Kingsbury to fall short... for the plots to grow old... the characterizations to go flat.. for these stories to get tired. It hasn't happened! I believe God wrote (and is writing) these stories on her heart. No, I don't think this is Scripture, but I do believe her writing is God-lead.. anointed.
I commend Kingsbury for not sugar coating life. She shared at the end of Summer that she wanted to go back and change a situation and let it all come out rosy and happy, but she didn't. Why? Because like it or not, life isn't always happily ever after and there is a greater lesson to be learned in holding on to Him during the bad times.
Her characters aren't super Christians. They are pious.. able to withstand crisis with no doubts, no wavering, no anger, etc. They are human. They get mad at God and each other.. turn their back on God and each other... lash out... cry... hurt... and on the flip side they laugh... smile... cry... love... You will find so many issues covered in these books. Teen pregnancy... sex outside of marriage (not just in the teens)... forgiveness.. unforgiveness.. addiction... death... life... birth.. adoption...AIDs... and so very much more.
I would love to tell you all about Summer, but there is no way to even begin without giving things away. I will tell you that I cry a lot when I read these books. Happy tears and sad tears.. and this one really got to me.
I am blessed to be able to check these books out at my local library. Please check there or a local bookstore for Karen Kingsbury books. Start with the Redemption Series -- book 1 is Redemption -- and go from there.