Book Review: The Edge Of Grace

8 Sep

When Caryn Becker answers the telephone on most Saturday morning, it’s generally not a prelude to disaster. Except this time, her brother David’s call shifts her universe. Her emotional reserves are already depleted being a single parent to six-year-old Ben after the unexpected death of her husband Harrison. But when David is the target of a brutal hate crime, Caryn has to decide what she’s willing to risk, including revealing her own secrets, to help her brother.  A family ultimately explores the struggle of acceptance, the grace of forgiveness, and moving from prejudice to love others as they are, not as we’d like them to be.

Christa Allan — A true Southern woman who knows that any cook worth her gumbo always starts with a roux and who never wears white after Labor Day, The Edge of Grace is Christa’s second novel. Her debut women’s fiction, Walking on Broken Glass, released in February from Abingdon Press. She is under contract for three more novels that will release in 2012 and 2013. She has been teaching high school English for over twenty years, earning her National Board Certification in 2007. The mother of five adult children and the totally smitten Grammy of two granddaughters, Christa and her veterinarian husband, Ken, live in Abita Springs, Louisiana.

Visit her website at

You can connect with Christa at Facebook at

My Impressions:

I was somewhat hesitant about reading The Edge of Grace by Christa Allan. Allan presents the controversial topic (at least in Christian circles) of homosexuality and the question can you be Christian and gay?   I was not sure how the topic would be presented and was anxious about giving an honest review. But Allan has penned a thought-provoking novel that is more about love than doctrinal debate.

Caryn is a widowed, single mom struggling to keep her family above water both financially and emotionally.  She has given up on God since the death of her husband and is handling things on her own.  In the midst of her struggle, her older brother David drops a bombshell.  His wedding is off and he is gay.  Caryn is not only uncomfortable with David’s news, but sees it as yet more evidence that God is not involved in her life.  As Caryn’s life becomes more and more out of control, she receives the news that David has been attacked because he is gay. Now she has to face the facts of her brother’s life and her own perceptions of who God is.

Allan has written a novel that is not preachy or in your face on either side of the homosexuality question.  Her characters’ struggles are real.  This is not an advocacy book at all, but rather a story of what love looks like.  One character points out that God can take care of the what ifs and whys; all we need to do is love and trust.  Another character points out that Christians often exclude from church the ones that need to be there.

I think The Edge of Grace is perfect for a book discussion group.  It promises a deep discussion of what it means to love one another, even when that other is walking a path we don’t understand or approve of.   And the question of whether one can be Christian and gay, may be replaced with can someone be a Christian and _____  (you’ll have to fill in the blank).


Monday, September 5

Book reviewed at Legacy of a Writer

Tuesday, September 6

Guest blogging at Book Reviews by Molly

Wednesday, September 7

Interviewed at Blogcritics

Thursday, September 8

Book reviewed at By the Book

Friday, September 9

Book reviewed at Sharon’s Garden of Book Reviews

Monday, September 12

Guest blogging at Backseat Writer

Tuesday, September 13

Book reviewed at Back Seat Writer

Wednesday, September 14

Book review & book giveaway at Life in Review

Thursday, September 15

Book spotlighted at Book Marketing Buzz

Friday, September 16

Book review & book giveaway at A Cozy Reader’s Corner Reviews

Monday, September 19

Guest blogging at Mad Moose Mama

Tuesday, September 20

Book reviewed at Mad Moose Mama

Wednesday, September 21

Book reviewed at Splashes of Joy

Thursday, September 22

Book reviewed at From the TBR Pile

Friday, September 23

Book reviewed at Five Alarm Book Reviews

Monday, September 26

Book review & giveaway at All I Ever Read

Tuesday, September 27

Guest blogging at Literarily Speaking

Wednesday, September 28

Book reviewed at Bluerose’s Heart

Thursday, September 29

Book reviewed at Celtic Lady’s Reviews

Friday, September 30

Chat with Christa at Pump Up Your Book Live! September Authors on Tour Chat/Book Giveaway Party!

(I received The Edge of Grace from Pump Up Your Book in return for an honest review.  The opinions expressed are mine alone.)

3 Responses to “Book Review: The Edge Of Grace”

  1. Christa Allan September 8, 2011 at 7:55 am #

    Thanks for your honest and insightful review of The Edge of Grace. It’s such a joy to know you “got it!”

    • rbclibrary September 8, 2011 at 9:08 am #

      I hope I did. Thanks for stopping by. It means a lot to know that authors care about what bloggers have to say. Looking forward to many more books from you.

  2. Dorothy Thompson September 8, 2011 at 8:28 am #

    Thank you for your very understanding review, Beckie. Sometimes when you are a Christian and you have Christian beliefs, and something happens in your family that questions those beliefs, it’s hard to decide what to do. Me? Family would win hands down, but I know this was a hard book for Christa to write. She has approached the subject not as a Christian gay lover but as a person with love in her heart. Christa has had reviews that are mixed and that is soley because of the Christian/gay thing, not because of her writing and I find that’s sad. A reviewer needs to not look at what an author is writing about but how they are writing about it. Critique the writing, not the subject matter, you know? I wanted to stop and tell you how much I really appreciate this review and I know Christa is really going to appreciate it.

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