Sing is the second book in a series. I liked it well enough that I’ve asked to review the third in the series.
Bergren has rich characterization abilities. She also does a great job of weaving plot. She gets a ‘B’ (which is actually a fairly high rating) for showing Christ in her plot. She lets the characters struggle against a religious upbringing, turn their back on God, and come to the end of themselves. This was one of the first traditional Christian fiction books that I read where the Christian aspect wasn’t overly contrived.
Set in the old West, Sing takes us from Europe, to New York, to San Franscisco and finally to the Midwest. We face adultery, abortion, and emotional exhaustion.
When you are done with this book, you will find that you have bonded with the characters and can’t wait to finish their stories.
Want to buy this book? Check it out on Amazon.com.
Want more? Here’s a quick interview with the author:
Q. This is mainly Moira’s book, but you also focused on Odessa’s growth and relationship in this novel. Why’d you think that was important?
A. Moira seems to steal every scene she’s in (Nic too!). But I wanted to show how Odessa, now physically healthy, still has some emotional growth ahead of her—like we all do. We’re all continually evolving, learning, changing.
Q. Is that why you were so tough on these characters in this book?
A. I think it’s easy to be a Christian when things are good. You show what your faith is made of—and possibly discover new depths—when you encounter the bad. Or you walk away. I was glad to see these three getting closer to God, but Nic obviously has a ways to go.
Q. You talk about the characters as if they have minds of their own.
A. [Laughing.] They do! That’s the fun of fiction. I have one idea, but then a certain spin occurs and casts them in a different direction, and I discover new things with them as if I’m riding along, observing. I always start with a rough outline, knowing some key things that will happen, and the ending I’d like to see, but I leave it to the characters to take it from there. When I’m invested in the scene, feeling it as if I’m in their skin, sensing their emotions and mind-set, the plot often turns.
Q. We’re in 1880s Colorado. It surprised me when we got to the conquistador gold—what inspired that?
A. The third novel I ever wrote was a romance called Treasure, in which the heroine was seeking Spanish gold as a nautical archaeologist. I think if I’d had half the chance, I would’ve loved the opportunity to be a treasure hunter myself. Indiana Jones and all that, you know. Childhood fantasies. So I always note treasure-ish things I come across, and I read about an actual legend of lost conquistador explorers, who left behind a bounty of gold when they got separated from the rest of their troops in the Sangre de Cristos. Reportedly, two lost hikers came across the cave in a snowstorm twenty years ago, marked it when the storm ended, intending to come back, but could never find it again. They spent years of weekends searching for that cave. Isn’t that fantastic novel fodder? Love stuff like that.