It has been several years since I’ve read a book by Francine Rivers. I am not a big reader of Christian fiction. Every once in a while a title or book cover will entice me. I’ve read a few reviews on The Masterpiece, and placed the book on my to be read list. I have mixed feelings about the book. On one hand it has an interesting synopsis. On the other hand it did not capture me as I’d wanted.
Publisher and Publication Date: Large print edition published by Thorndike Press, a part of Gale, a Cengage Company. Tyndale House Publishers holds the publishing rights. February 6, 2018.
Genre: Christian Fiction.
This is the first large print edition I’ve read. It is hardcover. It is 16 point. The type-font style is plantin. It is unabridged. It is a just the “story” kind of book. No extra fluff.
Grace Moore is a single mom living in Burbank, California. She and her baby son live with Selah and Ruben and their children. At one time, Grace had considered letting them adopt her baby. Grace has not signed the adoption papers, but continues to live with them. They have been supportive of her and have provided a place to live until she can become independent. Grace begins working for an artist as his personal assistant. The job is at his large home in Topanga Canyon, California.
Roman Velasco is an artist. He hires Grace, because she is detail oriented and honest. He has no interest in the domestic side of life.
Both Grace and Roman are hiding painful pasts. Their stories are shared going back and forth in time.
What I liked:
1. A main theme in the book is two people who have painful pasts. One character who has become a Christian and is trying to live a new life in Christ Jesus. The other character has no interest or at least no idea what this “new life” in Christ is all about nor do they care. The two people are attracted and intrigued by the other. Both have walls they’ve put up but for different reasons. For a Christian fiction book this is a standard type plot. One character is a Christian and the other is not. How do they work this huge problem out? Is it possible to love and have a permanent relationship with someone who does not believe and worship the same? These questions are what real people have to work out in life.
2. Roman is a handsome man, he’s virile. I loved it that he is biracial. I have not read another Christian fiction book where this is the characterization of a person. Bravo. Also, to bring a sensuality into the story is wonderful. Christian fiction stays too sterile, and this is not real life. People are drawn to each other physically.
3. Grace is wrestling with doing the right thing with her baby son. The woman who has been helping her is helping too much. This woman is emotionally attached. Through the book, I was anxious to find out what was going to happen in this situation.
What I did not like about the book:
1. The book is lengthy at 512 pages. Let me clarify. I love long stories. I’ve read several Charles Dickens books. I’ve read Les Misérables. I’ve read War and Peace. I’ve read the Bible several times. If I feel a story can be told in less pages, then it should be less pages. This is a story that could have been less pages. However, the book has sold well so obviously this is not a negative point for the buyers of the book.
2. Grace got on my last nerve at times. In some ways she is strong and direct. However, she is loyal to a fault. She has a high tolerance for bad behavior. I understand these are traits of a person who has been abused. I wondered, what if there was a reverse of these traits in the book? What if Grace was the type of character who Roman is and Roman was the type of character Grace was? Another words they swapped. Is it possible the readership or publisher would approve of such a thing? In culture, we want the men to be aggressive and strong, and women are to be weaker (ouch.)
Overall the book is a good and solid story. It is just not an excellent rating for me.