Girl bonding and self-discovery are the prevailing motivators in Laura Jensen Walker's novel Daring Chloe. The story opens with every woman's ultimate catastrophe: Chloe, our book's central character, gets jilted the day before her wedding. She is stunned, shocked, angry, and confused. She goes into a sort of mourning, feeling hollow and very much like a failure. To help her focus on better thoughts, her closest friends and family members embark on a one-year journey through books. They all set admirable goals, and they work to help each other discover some adventures in life while learning to better themselves.
This book is something lightweight to read on an airplane flight, or to lull away some time at the beach. The plot is not complicated and the characters are not three-dimensional. It's simply a romantic comedy meant to be quick entertainment, and to that end, it meets its goal. The first four chapters of the book give more back story than is necessary and actually stall the genuine start to the novel, which kicks in at chapter five when Chloe starts to expand her horizons.
One Christian theme that emerges by the middle of the novel is the need to forgive those who have wronged us (Eph. 4:32). For Chloe, this means getting past her bitterness toward her former fiance, as well as loving those around her whom she felt did not comfort her properly while she was experiencing the emotional pain of public embarrassment, lost love, and wasted money. Admittedly, many of the problems Chloe faces and the range of emotions she tries to cope with are factors most women will be able to relate to. The insights Chloe gains from her school of hard knocks experiences can be passed on vicariously to the readers.
Walker creates a realistic timeline in her book in which the characters move along at a natural, if not fast, speed. And, there is an element of suspense as we wonder if Chloe will survive both emotionally and spiritually and even perhaps find love again one day. This is not a heavy book and the characters are a bit predictable, but the story is winsome. -- Nan Johnson, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
When Chloe Adams’ fiancé dumps her—the night before their wedding—two girlfriends from her book group decide a little adventure is in order for the three of them. After all, why let a perfectly good honeymoon cruise go to waste?
Adventure? Chloe Adams? No way! Chloe’s lived in one town her whole life. The closest she’s ever gotten to actual adventures is reading about them. But her girlfriends won’t take no for an answer.
One good adventure calls for another as Chloe’s friends try to coax her out of her post-dumping funk, and soon she finds herself living out the adventures in her book club’s latest selections. Hiking. Sailing. River rafting. Traveling to new places and eating exotic food. The play-it-safe Chloe begins to blossom into a new, daring Chloe. A Chloe who just might be ready to take on her biggest adventure of all …
Laura Jensen Walker has a knack for quirky heroines and real-life humor. In Chloe, she’s created another memorable character who will live on in readers’ hearts.