Echoes by Robin Jones Gunn
Falling head over heels for someone on the internet, finding it hard to move on after a painful breakup, these are all elements in Robin Gunn’s new book entitled Echoes. I think the real heart of this book was met in Lauren’s character, her being given the opportunity to step out in faith that although her heart might be crushed again, she was willing to step forward. To be honest, I had a little trouble getting into the story because I think some of the characters were not fully developed in the way they could’ve been. For instance, we get a little window in Lauren’s fiancée Jeff, as one who is on the quick path to success, monetarily, but we don’t get a lot of backstory about why he kept pushing the issue to move to New York and why he acted in such an abrupt manner. In Lauren there is a tinge of teenage gush mixed in with her driven self, pursuing certification in teaching and being a banker. Yet, I was hoping for some more engaging details about her family, her dreams and what makes her tick.
As far as the plot moves along, this book carries its focus with Lauren’s connection with an online person named K.C. After over a year of exchanges through email, they decide to meet. I won’t disclose everything but what happens turns out to be the opposite of what you might think. Mindy, Lauren’s married friend at the bank showers her during the novel with spiritual platitudes about God providing the right time for the right person. Mindy provides someone who is an overseer or guide to help Lauren in her life and the big decisions she faces. Nosy and downright amusing is Mindy’s character in the book. As the email exchanges grow more personal between Lauren and K.C., the plot moves toward a climax where the two characters can meet.
On a sidenote, I think the issue of online dating/emailing or chatting could be helpful to discuss as part of reading this book. In the book, Lauren goes from a sense of trepidation to emotional infatuation with this online presence in a very quick time. Also, I thought it was odd that you would email someone for over a year and then decide to meet. Now, I think this time distance providing Gunn with the opportunity to develop the relationship, but I got to admit that after a month or two, you would want to meet someone.
For a quick read, a developing story of releasing one’s fears in the face of a breakthrough, this novel will reach many hearts, mainly women. I think it fell short in a lot of ways, but maybe that’s because I’m a man.
Thanks to Waterbrook/Multnomah Blogging for Books for the review copy in exchange for review.