Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Review on Gayle Roper's Shadows on the Sand

I remember growing up and hearing the bell choir perform at my church.  I have to say that I really enjoyed it, especially when they were all synchronized and hit their notes in perfect unison.  It made for a beautiful sound and it’s what I think of whenever I hear the phrase “ringing true”, you know that moment when something hits you as pure and sincere.  Shadows on the Sand by Gayle Roper is one of those books that “rings true” in my mind and really did touch me with regards to the storyline, characters and writing. It is told with sincerity and sensitivity.

Carrie Carter is a small café business owner in Seaside, New Jersey, having survived a tough upbringing with a deadbeat mother with no concern for Carrie or her younger sister Lindsay.  But Carrie was a fighter and teenage runaway protecting her sister from her mother’s neglect and loser boyfriends who did not have the girl’s best interests in mind.  Having survived all that and starting over in Seaside, Carrie made a life for herself and sister and comes to own Carrie’s café where her younger sister also works.  Enter Greg Barnes, an ex-cop and wounded man who has lost his wife and children in tragic circumstances.  Perhaps it’s his sad background that attracts Carrie to Greg, but Greg doesn’t seem to know that she is alive.  Add in a pretty interesting twist with one of Carrie’s waitresses mysteriously disappearing after her dishwasher is found dead and you get a situation where Greg and Carrie are thrown together trying to figure out what is going on.

  This story is well told, especially with regards to the complexity of the characters of Greg and Carrie.  Both have experienced a whole lot of heartache before knowing the other and make mistakes along the way with regards to their relationship with each other and with God.  I appreciated that these characters seemed very real.  Carrie didn’t’ really want to face up to some of her past and reconcile a relationship.  Greg has a hard time moving forward with all the fear that is holding him back.  I love how the author weaved their journeys together with imperfect moments, it makes the characters come alive and gives them reality and depth.

 I appreciate a book that has some suspense, little bit of humor, and a little soul searching thrown in as well.  Gayle Roper is now on my radar screen as an author and just like I looked forward to hearing the bell choir play at my church with those perfectly hit notes, I will definitely look forward to reading more of Gayle Roper in the future.  Keep on ringing true!

4 stars

A free copy of this book was graciously provided fo me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  I was not required to write a positive review.  All opinions expressed are my own.



  1. Thanks for a great review! I read the book also and I did not want to put it down. See you back at Christian Devourers.


  2. I'm browsing through the Christian Fiction Devourers blogs and noticed your review, Cheryl. Someone gave me this book, and I haven't gotten to it yet. Now I'm eager to read it!