Friday, April 8, 2011

"Divine Appointments"

In the book "Divine Appointments" by Charlene Baumbich, we meet Josie Brooks, a successful business consultant whose life is complicated by her OCD tendencies and hot flashes, and by hallucinations involving a mysterious snowglobe. Josie prides herself in being self-sufficient and uncompromising in her decisions. As she helps companies downsize, she has not allowed herself to feel any kind of compassion for the people whose lives are adversely impacted by her decisions. Things begin to change when she starts her consulting work for Diamond Mutual. Although she thinks that the company's boss, Lyle Waters, is too soft on his employees, she starts thinking about him as a real human being, not just a piece of a company. She sees genuine friendships among the employees and begins to see the loneliness that pervades her life. As one after another of her preconceived notions of how the world should be begins to shatter, Josie is shaken to the core of her being--shaken enough to consider that maybe she has just been existing for most of her life and not really living.

Most of the characters in the book are believable if not completely likable. The exception is the character of Marsha who considers herself an author. The portions of her "novel" are annoying to read. Even though the writing is supposed to be a therapeutic anger release mechanism for the character, it is frustrating to any reader who enjoys good writing.

My favorite character was Barb. She is a Christian woman who has been with the company for many years and who provides a sense of stability, wisdom, and calm leadership for the other employees. She is not perfect and struggles with her short-comings, but this makes the reader like her even more. She takes a bad situation and tries to be an encouragement to others rather than wallowing in self-pity and regret. Her actions and attitudes influence more people than she realizes.

"Divine Appointments" is the second book by Baumbich which features a snowglobe with mysterious, almost magical attributes. Though not quite fantasy, the book does has fantasy elements that give it a distinctly unique flavor.

(Note:I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.)

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