Saints & Sailors (The Dunbridge Chronicles #4)

Title:  Saints & Sailors (The Dunbridge Chronicles #4)
Author:  Pam Rhodes
Pages:  272
Year:  2015
Publisher:  Lion Fiction
Neil Fisher has the bright idea to take a Christian cruise, visiting landmarks of famous saints of the early church.  He has invited members from his current church family at Burntacre as well as members from his 3-year stint as curate at Dunbridge.  The all comes together for a nine day cruise.  While on board, a praise choir is assembled by none other than the author herself!  I thought that was a clever twist of the author, putting herself in as a character in the story.  As the cruise gets underway, readers are treated to lovely descriptions and faith-filled moments as we visit some of these historic sites.  The relationships between various people unfold, making for a book I couldn’t put down.
I liked everything about this story with the exception of the homosexual interaction between two minor characters in one brief scene.  There were no graphic details, but I didn’t see the need for this in the story.  Other than that aspect, the book was a tear-jerker in spots and had me applauding and laughing in other spots.  Neil and Claire try to keep the peace between Iris and Harry as well as their old and new church families.  Betty, Sheila and Marion were terrific!  I enjoyed catching up with some of the familiar characters from Dunbridge while being introduced to new characters from Neil’s current church family.  There were couples on the cruise with marriage troubles.  One person returned to the spot he had landed on D-Day more than seventy years earlier.  He had never returned because the memories were too painful, but now at the age of 91 he returns with his son and grandson at his side to share his memories of that day.  Another woman returns to see her family after a 24-year estrangement, but has no idea what the outcome of this meeting will be.  The subplots were woven together to form a nice, cohesive story and the writing was well done.
My rating is 4 stars.

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