To be honest, I’ve never been very good with audio books. My listening comprehension is not as good as my reading comprehension, and I don’t focus well enough to sit still and listen to a book. I would love to listen in my car on long trips, but I only have a tape player in my car which poses a problem in the world of CDs and MP3s. One time I tried to take a audio book on CD and put all of the tracks on my MP3 player; that was insane because they started playing out of order. Every once in a while though I wander back over to the audio book section of the library. Now they have these nifty devices called Playaways. They are loaded with a book and only require a battery and headphones. Since I have a tape converter for my car, I can even plug them into my car radio. Perfection.
Recently I wandered over to the audio book section and checked out Karen Kingsbury’s Chasing Sunsets to listen to while I ride my bike or drive my car. I’ve enjoyed Karen Kingsbury’s work (see my posts on Fifteen Minutes and Waiting for Morning), so I figured I couldn’t go wrong by listening to this book. I wasn’t disappointed.
The plot is intricate, involving multiple characters and plot lines, but I didn’t get confused by the intertwining stories. It starts with chapters one and two telling different stories of each major characters. Some of the characters connect already, but it’s not clear how some connect. The story is focused on Mary Catherine, Marcus, and Lexi with some other characters intertwined. Mary Catherine has just learned about a health condition she has which limits her life. She vows to not fall in love and to instead focus on doing God’s work. She and her friend, Sammi, are headed to the opening of a new youth center in a rougher part of town. That’s where Marcus comes in; he’s a pro-baseball player with a heart that wants to do good. Lexi is the girlfriend of a boy trying to become leader of a gang, which will require him to kill Marcus. Without giving away more of the plot, I’ll tell you this story involves romance, murder, faith, and angels. It’s a page (er, minute) turner; often I found myself trying to find just a few minutes in the day when I could work in time to listen.
This version of the audio book is read by a man and a woman, which helps keeps the characters’ perspectives unique. Both do a good job of creating voices for the characters. I don’t have much experience listening to audio books, but these two did a good job of reading in my not-so-experienced opinion.
Chasing Sunsets made me consider the fact that angels might be walking around, and even more to keep my eyes open for how God is working around me. I also always love a hopeful romance, but this one is not a cheap simplistic romance. There are hard decisions to make and actually the romance almost doesn’t happen. It reminded me that just because there are mutual feelings between two people does not mean that starting a relationship is the next best move.
My only complaint is that it ended on a cliff hanger! I wasn’t aware it was part of a series until I got to the end. Now I have to find the next book in the Angels Walking series to find out what happens in these characters’ lives.