Title: “Finally and Forever”
Series: The Katie Weldon Series, book Four
Author: Robin Jones Gunn
Review copy source: Publishers (Zondervan)
My rating: 2.5 of 5 Stars
About the book:
What was she thinking?
Katie Weldon wonders if she was crazy to spontaneously fly off to Africa on a mission trip. Suddenly she is dealing with a new culture, a world she’s never experienced—and Eli, a friend who is quickly becoming much more. It’s all overwhelming … and exciting. As her life turns topsy-turvy, however, she begins to think this might be exactly what she needs. Here, God might give her a glimpse into His will for her life. But just as Kenya and its people find a place in her heart, and her relationship with Eli begins to get serious, Katie is faced with unanswered questions from her past and unresolved issues with Eli. Is she really headed down the same path into the future he is? It doesn’t look like it. Why can’t she finally and forever settle into a set direction? Living in this new and captivating place, one thing she knows for sure: anything might be possible.
Finally and Forever is the final book in the Katie Weldon Series.
Well, at first it felt like any other Robin Jones Gunn book, and followed suit of the previous books in the series – I figured any R.J.G. fans would easily love this book – and with the writing that is still the case. You can tell it is an R.J. Gunn book, and I think I would have enjoyed that more a few years ago when I was younger and avidly reading her books. :)
There was just much that I did not care for in this book. As the book progressed, I felt more and more that it wasn’t just ‘not my style’, it was starting to be the kind of book that could make others stumble. However, I will also keep in mind that God can use any book in any way He wants to touch the reader.
There were good parts, but I also think there were incorrect lessons/information as well.
I liked that Katie (main character) learned to praise God in every situation – that really is so true, and a great lesson.
However, I was really disappointed with how concerned she was that she couldn’t have what she wanted – she didn’t care that Eli didn’t want the same thing. The big impression I got from her was that she was head-strong, or, strong-willed, and seemed to only want what suited her (I even noticed this in the small things. For instance, Eli bought her a coffee with the last amount of money he had, and just asked for the last couple sips, since he couldn’t get his own – Katie not only didn’t seem to care that he bought her the coffee with the last of the money he had with him, but she didn’t want to give him the last sip because that’s the best part – I know it was said that they were teasing, but it is still little things like that that are noticeable), and another big part was that she didn’t want to compromise her dreams and wishes. I know she and Eli weren’t married, just a couple, but still, God calls us to serve. No matter what. To be selfless, and I didn’t see that change of heart in Katie, which made me sad.
Also, ‘follow your heart’ was promoted in the book, which I disagree with. For “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9). We must only follow God. He will guide us and lead us on the right path. He knows. And that is a comfort. I don’t have to know – because He already does, and He will show me. “Ask and you shall receive”. “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” I just really want to see that in books – see His ultimate control, and the characters growing in that.
I liked the Africa being the ‘landscape’ and learning more a bit about that, and there were some good parts that will stay with me. And I am trying to think of Katie as just in the learning process. We all are in a learning process, just on different spots on the road.
I encourage you to pray before, during and after this book to seek His truths on the matter.
Upon finishing this book, I admit that I was really disappointed. But we also have to learn to take the good and toss out the bad – so that is what I have done. Or at least, what I am trying to do. :) Katie was flawed, just as we are, and maybe I just saw it more than I expected. I just wish we could have also experienced her healing more.
Thank you the publishers for providing me with a review copy in exchange for my honest review which I have given.