At thirty, Harper fears her chances for a thriving acting career and finding true love are both fading fast. After a devastating year of unemployment and isolation in Chicago, Harper is offered an unexpected role in a Broadway play—as understudy to New York’s biggest diva––and everything in Harper's world changes.
Harper also hopes to find love in NYC, but when it doesn't happen, she reluctantly signs up to an online matchmaking site. Frustration mounts when the only match Harper is even remotely interested in lives in a remote territory on the opposite coast, thousands of miles away. A faith conversation during her year in Chicago shapes how Harper sees everything. She wants to see God at work in her life, but His ways are mysterious, and she's faced with challenges in the secular world of Broadway. Harper feels like an actress who doesn’t act and a woman in love with someone she's never even seen, but God's about to change all that.
Linked through the contemporary, text message world of Internet dating, Harper learns it's possible to care for someone outside her own universe, even when that someone can't be touched, and ultimately how to love. She reaches out through the impersonal world of cyberspace and becomes more aware than ever of God reaching out to her. Sometimes the person farthest away from you, she discovers, is the one who's closest to your heart.
I'm not normally a big fan of first person narrative, but I loved Harper's voice. She's just someone with whom you can connect and relate. I liked her. Her faith and desire to serve God and follow His path for her is strong, but she's not perfect. Her regret at her inability to apologize after confronting Tabby early in the book is real.
Online dating as it's known now, didn't exist when I got married. I don't know that I would be even able to enter the world of online dating if I were single, but it's so prevalent and an accepted part of mainstream life, and it's an integral part of Harper's story. I think Harper's initial reluctance to sign up rang true, yet I cheered as she let her guard down and fell in love with Luke.
Technology has brought such a new and dynamic element to our interpersonal relations. I blog, I have a Facebook account and a cell phone. I don't Twitter and the only people I regularly text are my husband and youngest sister. I don't even watch television on a regular basis, and I prefer holding books in my hand and have no desire for a Kindle or similar device. I guess I'm part Luddite!
I enjoyed Avril and Luke and the rest of the cast of characters. I've seen Broadway plays performed in San Francisco, but never New York and I've never been a theater insider, so the insights into the world of New York theater were fascinating.
With some ups and downs, friendship and love, drama and adventure, this is a charming book and one I wish didn't end.
And, Chris? I think a sequel needs to be written about Avril and James...
Thanks to Audra Jennings at The B&B Media Group and David C. Cook for the opportunity to tour this book. You can learn more about Chris Coppernoll here. You can purchase your own copy here.
* * * * *