I received a complimentary copy of Chosen People in exchange for an honest review of its merits.
For years, Robert Whitlow has been marketed as the John Grisham of Christian Fiction, which I think might be a bit unfair. While it may have been true in the beginning of the Christian legal fiction genre there was no one but Whitlow, but that is not the case today (Cara Putman comes readily to mind, for starters).
Also, it presupposes there is one style in which one can write a legal fiction: in a conversational, around-the-campfire storytelling yarn. That may be how Grisham writes, but Whitlow has his own style.
Whitlow has matured in his narrative prose (as do all good writers) and that is on display in Chosen People. The characters are well formed and there is some humor to break up the tension that runs throughout the story. The author clearly has done his research and the locations both near and far feel real. As the characters walk the streets of Jerusalem, for example, you feel you are doing the same. And there were some secondary characters that were a nice addition to the tale.
I suppose that my chief storytelling concern was that the love triangle was not resolved in a way that made sense to me. In Whitlow’s attempt to set up both potential partners as interesting prospects, I thought Hana made a choice that went against her character. Then again, Whitlow might argue that he wasn’t setting up a triangle at all, or that I didn’t truly understand what was driving Hana and her decisions. The ending also seemed a bit rushed, but that tends to be an unfortunate trend in contemporary storytelling.
But, to be fair, these are smaller concerns when weighed against the positive elements of the tale. All in all, nicely done, Mr. Whitlow.
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I've been writing stories and taking photos since I was old enough to hold a pencil and stand behind a tripod.