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In "Written on the Wind," readers are instantly plunged into the intrigue that fills the lives of the Hayes sisters. Daughters of a hard and ruthless Los Angeles newspaper tycoon, each girl's life is filled with dilemmas and drama in 1941. Cameron, the oldest, is a stubborn, talented journalist who holds God and anyone else attempting to be a part of her life at arms length. Quitting work at her father's newspaper, she soon gains a "dream" assignment with a "rival" paper as a foreign correspondent in Russia. There, she finds action, mystery, the devastation of war...and love. Beautiful "middle" sister Blair covets a place in Hollywood, yet soon becomes disillusioned with her theatrical and relational experiences there. Indeed, Blair is so desperate to find true love that she resorts to deception. Finally, youngest sister Jackie, a university student, seems to be leading the uncontroversial Christian life that her older sisters lack. However, soon her life becomes more complicated when she begins to form a friendship with a Japanese-American, Sam. In the midst of such change, each sister must determine what is right and how her life is to be lived.
Without a doubt, there are a few aspects of this first book in a series that make it memorable. First, readers will undoubtedly enjoy each sister's unique personality, and find such contrasting yet intertwined stories well-developed and interesting. In particular, Cameron's life, personality, and struggles were explored in detail, and her mental strength and intelligence makes her a refreshing change from the often weak-willed heroines of Christian fiction. Secondly, it was appreciated how Pella intelligently incorporates romance in her novel while showing other areas of each character's life, instead of simply making another romance novel. Lastly, some of the history "woven" into stories of Cameron's European and Russian experience is fascinating and obviously well-researched, and undoubtedly adds a new dimension to the book. Definitely, the book has some solid qualities.
However, "Written on the Wind" could use a few corrections. Above all, it was unfortunate that while some of the history and geography in "Written on the Wind" was fascinating, some was simply overwhelming and boring. Sometimes it was hard to keep everything straight in Cameron's portions of the book, and it felt like reading a history book instead of historical fiction. Also, I was slightly disappointed that Cameron dominated this book's storyline, and even though I trust that the two remaining sisters will do the same in the coming sequels, I think the book's "pace" and readability would be improved if time was equally divided between sisters. Unfortunately, not everything was perfect.
Overall, this book was worth reading. A few rough spots, a few times when the reading got a little boring, but always there were sections and characters that mostly "made up" for the faults. I greatly enjoyed this book's characters, and certainly will be interested to see what Book 2 in the series delivers.