The Arms of Love
Date Published: June 30, 2001
Number of Pages: 446
Print Price: $37.67
eBook Price: $
Joanie Collins is the oldest of eight kids in a strong, Catholic family. She’s starting her first day of work as a journalist reporter with the local TV station when she catches the eye of Brandon Vaughn—the station’s commercial producer and resident “womanizer.” Brandon’s charm and good looks put Joanie off guard and leave her struggling with her feelings, while fellow coworkers warn her about Brandon’s reputation and tell her to stay well away from him. Instead, Joanie invites him to the next praise night at her church.
Brandon shows up at the praise night as a way of calling Joanie’s bluff, but he isn’t expecting to find that she’s the lead singer—or that her voice and music touch him in a way he’s never experienced. Her love for Jesus is clear, and it intrigues him. He’s never met a girl like her before, and she makes him realize that he’s been leading a rather empty life. Brandon starts on a quest to discover Joanie’s Jesus.
At times, Brandon’s quick conversion seemed a bit too perfect. I thought maybe he should struggle more with leaving his old lifestyle, question the faith more before he joins the Church. Other times, such as when the faith of Brandon’s grandparents is revealed, his quick journey to faith makes sense. Brandon’s conversion inspires a return to faith in several other characters, including his mother, his best friend Mark (whom he had originally led away from faith), and Mark’s girlfriend Justine.
In the end, I found myself enjoying the novel and liking the characters. Both Brandon and Joanie grow and change through their relationship. There are moments of humour and joy as well as struggle and anger. I liked reading a novel in which the rosary, adoration, and Mass are mentioned frequently and positively. Carmen provided enough explanation about anything Catholic that non-Catholic readers would still be able to enjoy the novel, yet not so much that Catholics would get bored.
Original Language: English
Book Dimensions: 7.4 x 5.3 x 1.1 inches
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