Monday, February 20, 2012

Play It Again by Tracy Krauss

4 1/2 ****

Reviewed on February 20, 2012

In this sensitive romance by author Tracy Krauss, conservative accountant, Russ Graham, finds himself unexpectedly attracted to a vibrant young woman he meets at a resort where her jazz musician father and his band have a gig. Deanie Burton, a former rock singer who is in school studying for what she hopes will be a more stable career, is likewise surprised by her immediate attraction to Russ, and the two share an intimate evening. But a past relationship that still haunts Russ leads to him compounding this passionate mistake with another.

Set in 1980’s Canada, Play It Again is a story about the difficulty of letting go of pain and trusting again, both in others and in the belief that God has a plan for everyone. The two main characters, Russ and Deanie, are very well-drawn and realistic, and author Tracy Krauss does a wonderful job of portraying with honesty and sympathy the heartbreaks of their past and the challenges they must face to overcome them. I also loved the vivid portrayal of all those who shape and impact Russ and Deanie’s lives, from Deanie’s jazz musician father to her former bandmates and friends and the relationship the couple have with Russ’ son, Mark.

While most definitely a Christian novel with themes of redemption and coming to faith in Christ, it can also be enjoyed as simply a spiritually-uplifting contemporary romance because it comes from the character point of view of those who are not starting off with any kind of strong faith perspective, but who are instead just two everyday people who face the struggles, deal with the consequences and must decide how they will heal from the traumas and mistakes all human beings make.

A recommended read for all fans of edgy Christian fiction.


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