Center of Gravity by Laura McNeill

center of gravity

Ava Carson’s life revolves around her two boys—eight year old Jack who she has adopted as her own and her baby, Sam—and she likes her life. For the most part. She misses her job as school counselor and tries to make due with what she’s given. Her husband is an important man with an important job, so when he has meetings or has to work late, she tries to be understanding. When Mitchell Carson leaves her out of the blue and follows that action by filing for divorce and taking temporary custody of their children without talking to her, she’s left reeling. As she fights for her boys and digs into Mitchell’s past, she realizes she finds she didn’t know her husband at all. He has lied, he’s manipulative and vindictive, and he is out to teach Ava a lesson using the two things she hold most precious in life—Jack and Sam.

Told from first person point of view from several people—Ava, Mitchell, Jack, Ava’s lawyer (Graham), and the psychologist assigned to watch the family (Lucy)—McNeill tells the entire story. Mitchell’s deviousness, both Ava’s and Jack’s confusion and hurt, and Lucy’s tenderheartedness all come through in the pages. This book will leave you thinking, it will have you shaking your head, and it will pull you in all directions emotionally. It leaves an impression.

Readers of Christian fiction may be surprised by some of the content (a few cuss words and a paragraph about the honeymoon that goes into a little more detail than any other book in this genre I’ve read) and there is very little mention of God (someone says they’ll pray for the family and someone else says God is trying to get their attention). None of the main character have relationships with God. In fact, this book could have been shopped and sold in the mainstream marked as a clean read. But perhaps that’s what the Christian fiction genre (which people are claiming is in dire shape) needs—something different, something real, something true-to-life that shakes the reader up, takes them out of their comfort zone. I, for one, did not regret reading this story. It was well written and engaging with great character development and plot.

****Booklook Bloggers and Thomas Nelson Fiction provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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