Author: Karen Kingsbury
Published By: Center Street (2006)
Jack and Molly Campbell are right where they want to be, enjoying an idyllic life with their four-year-old son Joey, and the close family and friends who live in their small hometown just outside Atlanta. Then the phone call comes from the social worker the Campbells never expected to hear from again. Three states away in Ohio, Joey’s biological father has just been released from prison. He is ready to start life over, but not without his son.
A judge’s quick decision deals a devastating blow to the Campbell family: Joey must be returned to his biological parents. The day after the ruling, in the silent haze of grief and utter disbelief, they watch their son pick a dandelion and blow the feathery seeds into the wind.
In the days that follow the ruling, Jack Campbell has a desperate and dangerous thought. What if they can devise a way out? Then they could take Joey and simply disappear . . . LIKE DANDELION DUST (Taken from Goodreads)
I really liked the concept of the story and found it a very intriguing premise (an adopted boy getting claimed by his birthparents by a technicality), but unfortunately, I didn’t like it much at all.
I thought the characters were too perfect. Honestly, I didn’t like Molly at all, and I found Beth and Bill to be too perfectly Christian. And then there’s Rip, who was an extremely confusing and inconsistent character. I could not figure out if he was good or bad, and in this case, it wasn’t a good thing. Joey was a very unrealistic child, too. I thought the way he found God was sweet to an extent, but also very implausible for a child his age. Wendy was by far the most intriguing character, but even she fell flat, and her plot arc ultimately meant nothing to the story in the end. She served her purpose and then disappeared without any sort of closure, which I didn’t like at all. Generally, I really appreciated the messages the author was trying to send, but I just wasn’t impressed by the delivery.
One minute Wendy’s determined to get her son back, which is causing the conflict of the story, but then when we come back to her after weeks pass, she suddenly has realized she wants what’s best for him, which basically ends the entire story. We get very little explanation on how this change came about, considering how crucial it is, and the explanation we do get didn’t feel real. I was really upset that there were no consequences for Molly and Jack’s actions, and that all their problems just disappear and they go back to their perfect little life without any lasting effects, good or bad, or any repercussions.
Overall, I found the story very predictable and cheesy. I did finish it, so I guess that counts for something, but it was mostly because I had nothing else to read. I thought the ending was anticlimactic and unsatisfying. There was no closure; there were no repercussions or lasting effects. I also didn’t like how unnecessarily preachy the story got.
When I first finished reading I thought I liked it okay, but now that I’ve written out a review, I’ve realized that I really didn’t like it that much at all. There were definitely good points about the book, but honestly, compared to other Christian fiction I’ve been reading, this just doesn’t measure up.
Rating: 2.5 / 5.0