Genesis 5020

Stories for His Glory

Review: Past Darkness by Laurel Woidode May 2, 2013

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 10:21 am
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This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Past Darkness

Crossway (April 30, 2013)
Laurel Woiwode


Laurel Woiwode graduated with honors from Jamestown College, earning a Bachelor of Arts in both English and History. She works with ESL students, writes movie reviews at, works on writing and editing projects, and is always ready for outdoor adventures. Laurel grew up in rural North Dakota, has had an avid interest in animals, nature, and literature since childhood, and she is the author of Past Darkness.


Gabrielle Larson is an average, 15 year old girl living in Chicago when tragedy strikes. In the aftermath, she is forced to relocate to rural North Dakota and henceforth spends the next chapter of her life learning to cope with trials involving everything from family to faith. Laurel Woiwode, daughter of critically acclaimed novelist Larry Woiwode, offers here a moving story that will be appreciated by female and male readers alike. Past Darkness is not preachy or heavy-handed, but rather a touching story about the importance of family, the power of music, and the ever-present mercy of God.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Past Darkness, go HERE.

My thoughts:

Unfortunately, I could not get into this book. At first I thought maybe it was because it was a young adult novel but I knew that couldn’t be it because I have read a lot of  young adult books and found myself wrapped up in the story. I was very distant from this story and I really didn’t want to be.

The main character is a singer and loved music until her parents died while there were headed to a performance. After that Gabrielle rejects music. I wanted to read this story because of the music tie in but I never connected with the character.

This is my opinion only and someone else might really connect with the book. I just felt like the author kept me at a distance and never drew me in.

I will say Laurel (the author) has some great visuals and metaphors in the book, I love the words she choose, I just felt like something was missing.

Oh, and there a is a bit of language in the book, so depending on what you allow your teen to read you should know that ahead of time. I was surprised by that, I don’t think I have ever read Christian fiction that had a curse word.

Again, my opinion only. You might want to check it out for yourself and see what you think.

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An advance reader copy of this book was given to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.