Monday, October 3, 2011
Review of Love Finds You in Sunset Beach Hawaii by Robin Jones Gunn
Adventurous, independent Sierra Jensen suddenly finds herself at a crossroads in her life. She's spent the last four years doing ministry in Brazil. When her work comes to an abrupt end, she doesn't know what to do next. Accepting the offer of a week in Hawaii with her friend, Sierra hopes to seek God and find out where life's going to take her next. Jordan Bryce is an upcoming professional photographer sent to Hawaii to capture photos of the surfing competition. He's seeking to start making a name for himself and finds himself captivated by the lovely Sierra. When a series of "God-things" keep throwing the two of them together, they both question if this is God's will. Will they be willing to take a chance on love or will they go their separate ways?
I was so thrilled to pick up this story about Sierra. I've watched her grow up through Robin's books. I've always felt that Sierra's story wasn't finished and kept hoping that one day Robin would write more to Sierra's story. I got my wish with Love Finds You in Sunset Beach. Please be aware that spoilers will follow.
It was such a delight to come back into Sierra's world. Like most fans who grew up with Christy Miller and Sierra Jensen, I wanted to know answers to some very important questions. Did Sierra ever end up with Paul? Is she still the free-spirit that she was as a teenager? And is her heart for God as big as it was in her teens? Yes my questions were answered. There was finally a chance for closure with her relationship with Paul. I admit that I loved Jordan. He's not like most heroes. He's quirky and funny and has his faults. Yet he's a man that seeks God with all of his heart. And I loved him with Sierra.
I think that what really helped Sierra to make a decision about coming back to the States as opposed to staying in Brazil was her friend Mariana. When Mariana calls on Sierra to pick her up from a wild night, Sierra goes. But it's while the girls are together that Mariana admits that she's needing what Sierra, Jordan, and Derek all have - a personal relationship with God. I think that Mariana's salvation was God's way of closing the door on the Brazil chapter of Sierra's life. One of the thoughts that really stood out to me though was when Mariana told Sierra to stop trying to make God proud of her. I had to stop reading for a minute and think about that. So often in own life, I've felt that I was trying to make my Daddy God proud of me. I wanted Him to be able to be proud to call me His daughter. I realized, like Sierra, that God's already proud of me and that all I have to do is to just keep loving Him. With that thought in mind, I'm looking forward to my retreat this weekend where I'll spend some time with some of my sisters and be able to escape for a few days.
Robin, thank you so much for writing more of Sierra's story. I'm eagerly awaiting the book mentioned in your author's note, Cottage By the Sea. I know that when I read it, not only will I fall in love with additional characters, I'll get to meet up with one of my favorite friends again.
My thoughts and my opinions are my own.