A wife is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord. (1 Cor. 7:39 English Standard Version)
- Title: Somebody Like You
- Author: Beth Vogt
- ISBN: 1476737584 (ISBN13: 9781476737584)
- Series: Stand Alone
- Published: May 13th 2014 by Howard Books
- Format: eARC
- Genre: Christian Fiction
- Source: Publisher
- Rating: C+
I was intrigued by the deliciously soapy description of this book. Is there anything better than a sordid twin story line? Perhaps I just watched too many episodes of Another World, before Anne Heche was Ellen‘s girlfriend, then flipped out and decided she had a split personality, her alter-ego being Celestia who was none other than the half-sister of Jesus Christ! Which in fact, may be more dramatic than anything I witnessed on Another World, come to think of it. The trials and tribulations of Vicky and Marley Hudson was the stuff of twin legend, however if I was expecting the textbook good twin bad/twin dynamic in Somebody Like You, I would ultimately be disappointed there really wasn’t a bad guy per se best approximation would be Sam and that wouldn’t really be fair because… well he’s dead.
Haley’s three-year marriage to Sam, an army medic, ends tragically when he’s killed in Afghanistan. Her attempts to create a new life for herself are ambushed when she arrives home one evening—and finds her husband waiting for her. Did the military make an unimaginable mistake when they told her Sam was killed?
Too late to make things right with his estranged twin brother, Stephen discovers Sam never told Haley about him. As Haley and Stephen navigate their fragile relationship, they are inexorably drawn to each other. How can they honor the memory of a man whose death brought them together—and whose ghost could drive them apart?
Initially I didn’t realize that Somebody Like You was even Christian fiction, which was not a real deterrent in any case. It is just simply not my usual reading fare, keep in mind I like those Hallmark movies as much as the next person, truly is there anyone who didn’t love Christy starring Kellie Martin and to think there is a whole channel devoted to them now!
What unfortunately was a significant issue was the character of Haley, she was quite simply obnoxious. I can’t remember the last time I identified with a character less. Six months pregnant at the outset of the story, her idea of a good meal for herself and her unborn child was a chocolate bar and a Sprite. I am sure that the author meant for her junk food addition to be endearing but instead her behavior seemed at best juvenile and at worst irresponsible. This was not mentioned just once either, her abysmal dietary choices were a running theme throughout the story irritating me a little more each time they were mentioned. Also perplexing is what exactly Stephen saw in her, she was hostile, surly, obstreperous and by my definition pretty un-Christian in a lot of her behaviors towards him.
What did redeem the story for me was Sam’s twin brother Stephen who was truly a very “good man”. The circumstances of his estrangement from his twin may have felt a bit contrived to my mind. When Sam and Stephen’s parents divorced in their teens, one twin resided with each parent creating an ever increasing gulf between the boys culminating in a complete break when Sam opted to enlist in the military instead of attending college with Stephen as they had planned. However, Stephen seemed prepared to shoulder the entirety of the blame for their estrangement throughout most of the story though it is not an old adage “it takes two to tango” for nothing.
It may sound like there was nothing redeeming in this story but I did find the it grew on me as I read and from what I researched I seem to be in the minority to have not been entirely swept away by this admittedly sweet romance. The second half was far stronger than the first, with the exception of a couple of slightly presumptuous seeming exchanges with the Almighty each had. I wouldn’t discount this author’s work in the future and must admit I was more than a little intrigued by the synopsises of some of her other stories particularly Wish You Were Here and the short e-sequel I came across when investigating this work.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
So many times I approached life with a virtual roll of yellow duct tape emblazoned with the word NEVER. Over and over again I sealed off certain opportunities.
- I would never marry a doctor or anyone in the military.
- I would never have children.
- I would never write fiction.
And don’t you know God stripped off the duct tape and walked me through each of those NEVER doors?
Have you ever marked a door NEVER … only to discover his best waited where you said you’d never go?
Following God through that door doesn’t mean we’re on “easy street,”‘ even though we’re where he wants us to be.
Disclaimer: ARC was kindly provided by the publisher for an honest review.