In Fade to Blue, Julie Carobini uses real, pure emotions coming from believable characters to keep readers longing for more. The main character has to deal with her past as her ex-husband and ex-boyfriend both pop back into her life. Suz Mitchell and her four-year-old son, Jer, are stuck living with her brother, Gage, until she is able to get back on her feet after her painful divorce and recent move across the country. Suz must overcome feelings of guilt since her ex-husband wants to be a part of her life again. In the midst of that pain, she also deals with the aggravation of having her ex-boyfriend, a man she is conflicted about falling in love with again, always around her criticizing her life.
Suz is working on an art project at the Hearst Castle on the coast of California, when Seth, a man from her past becomes a part of her life again by moving from the east coast for work. Seth and Suz are unsure of how they are supposed to interact with each other because of the painful way their relationship ended six years earlier. Suz now has to juggle her art projects at the Castle, attempt to find somewhere to live on her own with her son, Jeremiah, figure out what to do about Seth’s presence in her life again, and cope with the pain associated with her ex-convict ex-husband wanting to make everything okay again and be a part of Suz and her son’s lives.
Carobini uses everyday language which makes her novel easy to read. She also allows the reader to get into Suz’s head to see how each meeting with Seth affects her every move and emotion. Since Suz and Seth met and split up when they were young and are now seeing each other for the first time six years, there is a youthful quality to the way they interact with each other. Suz makes comments about how they banter like teens and how Seth seems to be, in many ways, the same guy she knew years ago.
Suz seems to struggle with letting God take control of the different situations in her life that cause her stress and uncertainty. Luckily, she has a new friend from work, Letty, whom she is surprisingly able to confide in. Through her struggles, Suz begins to seek God. Near the end of the novel when panic sets in, she realizes God wants her to be still and wait patiently. Her relationships and conversations with Letty, Gage, and Gage’s fiancée, Callie, strengthen her relationship with God. A foundational idea in the novel is encompassed in Psalm 27:14, which says, “Wait patiently for the LORD. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the LORD” (NIV).
There is much talk of marriage and relationships in this novel. Since Suz is struggling about whether or not to allow Len, her ex-husband, back into her life, there is a large focus on the topic of marriage and divorce and the biblical views on each. One character tells Suz that even though divorce is not what God wants for His children, He allows it and offers healing to His people. The central ideas of this novel are grounded in biblical themes. Carobini does a wonderful job of making everything come together in the end. I would recommend this novel to women college age and older. – Diana L. Friend, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
Suz Mitchell is the determined dreamer we should all be and won't allow her ex-husband Len's jail sentence to ruin their young son Jeremiah's life. An accomplished artist, she moves with her child across the country to California's central coast and lands a sweet job restoring priceless paintings at the historic Hearst Castle overlooking the ocean.
To her utter surprise, a serious old flame, Seth, is also now working at Hearst and jumbles the dreams inside Suz's heart. While sorting out the awkwardness of their past split and current spiritual differences, a repentent Len shows up eager to restore his family.
Suz must learn to let God be the true restorer of all that once seemed lost.