A Lasting Impression was a good, long book. It was much longer than any of the other books I’ve read by Tamera Alexander. And I know, from being in her session at the American Christian Fiction Writer’s conference in September, that when she’d originally submitted the manuscript to her editor, it was near 160,000 words. Maybe it was the fact that I knew the book had been pared down to a “measly” 130,000 words that kept me at bay all these months. I received the book (from Bethany House, in exchange for a review) in October... which happened to be a pretty crazy month for me. I began reading A Lasting Impression the first of November first, directly after emailing my partial proposals off to the two agents who’d requested them at the conference. After spending those last two weeks of October working on them, I thought, “Okay, the proposals are out! Now I can sit back and relax!”
Wrong. I had two agent contracts in my inbox by the end of that first week of November. Ever since then I’ve been taking every spare moment I could grab and putting it to refining my manuscript. And sadly, I was already short on time, since I was baby-sitting a two-year-old and an infant for over 45 hours a week. (Fortunately, starting in January, I’ll have Mondays off—PRAISE THE LORD!!!!—until June, when I will be completely free to write to my heart’s content for days and weeks on end again!!) Anyway, there were a lot of factors in my not reading this this book very quickly. I just want you all to know that it had nothing to do with the quality of the book. It was long—so that made it all that much more difficult for me to plow through when so many other things have been vying for my attention—but it is also very good.
One concern I had at the beginning of the book was that I felt as if the reader had been brought into the story a bit too early. I understand now why Tamera Alexander wanted us to “be there,” but still—there were so many pages between that first scene and the last scene that I really wasn’t all that concerned about the “secrets” Claire was withholding from everyone in her “new life” throughout the book.
I think, had the book begun with Claire meeting Sutton in the church, perhaps, the reader would have been able to pick up everything they needed to know little by little throughout the rest of the book, and the book’s word-count could have been cut down considerably. This is just my writer’s brain at work though—everything about A Lasting Impression was lovely and well written just the way it is. I know from being at the conference that Tamera Alexander had had a very trying year as she wrote this book, so I cannot imagine how she did it—especially at the length in which she did!
Bethany House Publishers supplied me with a paperback version of this book in return for my honest opinion of the book. I give A Lasting Impression 4 stars.