The Chance: A Novel by Karen Kingsbury (Christian Fiction)
January LaVoy’s narration is Exceptional.
The characters in this novel are passionate and expressive. Their dialogue can be explosive and calm and heart wrenching, by turns. Listeners need to hear and subsequently feel the tide of emotions ebbing and flowing, rushing out, racing or trickling back in, from one scene to the next. Consequently, the narrator of the story needs to be able to carry an audience to each of these various levels.
It would be better for a person unable to deliver this story with the required intensity not to narrate it at all. LaVoy is able to deliver it, including every nuisance and inflection that conveys what isn’t spelled out in the dialogue.
Whether the speaker is a man, woman, boy or girl, January makes us forget that hers was the only voice recorded in the studio that day. The reading speeding is perfect, and she easily immerses listeners into the world of this compelling Christian drama.
Book Review: The Chance
To begin with, two aspects of this story of particularly endearing.
First of all, it has some characters whose genuine goodness and uncompromising conviction to their faith, readers can easily accept and admire.
The current trend in fiction might call such individuals unrealistic portraits of human nature. Yet, there are people to whom it wouldn’t occur to compromise their commitments to live by God’s laws and to demonstrate his love, no matter what confronts them. This story has such people, and it’s good to see that the author is not afraid to be a trend-breaker.
Secondly, there are uplifting examples of people praying to God and having their prayers answered, having miracles take place in their lives and in the lives of those for whom they’ve prayed.
It can be argued that in a fictional world, it’s easy to have God answer prayers and perform miracles. Yet, this scenario is a case of fiction mirroring reality. In real life we pray to God, believing that He is able to help us. He does answer our prayers and give us our miracles. Hearing of people easily joining hands and joining hearts in audible prayer, no matter where they are and then hearing how their miracles blossom into fruition gladdens listeners with the witness of how faith works on their behalf—even in fiction.
Nonetheless, The Chance is not a narrative filled with the instantaneous answering of every request. True to reality, answers don’t always come right away when there are lessons that must be learned first. This story is well described by those words found in the sixteenth chapter of the Book of John: In this world, ye shall have tribulation.
Nolan’s and Ellie’s journey back to their future appointment doesn’t include only the two of them. All the principle characters travel upon the roadway to the eleven-year mark: a roadway where some fall and fail and abuse the idea of faith, where others allow their faith to be destroyed, and where even goodness is not exempt from heartbreak. In other words, just as in life, the path to a new chance requires many to pass through God’s refining fire.
The story is told in multiple points of view. These various perspectives allow readers to know, firsthand, what is in the spirit and mind of each character and where God fits into or is not allowed to fit into each life.
Karen Kingsbury gives her characters a painful vulnerability coupled with an emotional visibility that conceals no part of them from their audience. Hence, listeners and readers can see themselves in these individuals, or as most people prefer, they can see that “friend” or “someone they know” in them.
Equally as important, they are able relate to the idea that while they can’t always avoid tribulations, through the prayers of faith and trust in God, they, too, can “overcome the world” (John 16.33) and be blessed with a chance for the love and happiness they desire.
Audio sample and download details are available.
Bibliography: The Chance: A Novel by Karen Kingsbury
Length: 9 hrs. 19 minutes (unabridged)
Publisher: ©3-05-2013 Simon and Schuster Audio