Center Street, 2005 (2005)
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Reviewed by Marie Hashima Lofton
n Britta Coleman's debut offering,
, a young minister and his new bride find their marriage and their lives spiraling out of control because of the fact that she became pregnant out of wedlock. Coleman's writing is lyrical. She takes the reader from the initial courtship through Mark Reynolds' guilty conscience over having premarital sex with the woman he loves, and into their downfall as Mark is told to leave his congregation because of his indiscretion.
ark falls in love with Amanda - a type of woman (impetuous, compulsive, and worldly) he should turn his back on. But they fall in love, and when she becomes pregnant, they get married. When they leave town (Houston) to join a different congregation in the Texas Panhandle, they hope it's the start of a better life, but the dry desert and small town that they find in Lakeview is a total disappointment to Amanda. Tragedy hits when Amanda loses the baby, and Mark isn't there to help her cope, as she slowly sinks into a depression that no one is able to save her from.
here just is not enough to say about this book. The writing is beautiful, and the story straightforward with a strong message - that being lost is a good way to start getting found. Though characters like the church board members are stereotypical, they fit the story being told, about people who make mistakes but can atone and be forgiven. While at first it seems aimed at the Christian audience,
is really a wonderful tale of two people who start out their marriage on the wrong foot, and try desperately to find each other again.
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