From the moment Katy Hart met movie star Dayne Matthews, her quiet life as director of a children’s theatre group in Bloomington, Indiana, gradually starting losing any semblance of normalcy. First, there was the audition, then the trial, then the proposal, and now this: an ugly car accident that has sent Dayne into a coma, where he teeters precariously between life and death. Meanwhile, the Baxters, who were still adjusting to Dayne as a member of their family, are forced to deal with the possibility of losing the brother they never knew.
In Forever, the fifth and final book in Karen Kingsbury’s Firstborn series, Katy and the Baxter family face some of the biggest trials of their lives—trials that will test their faith, forcing them to band together, and either conquer their weaknesses or be conquered by them.
Those familiar with Kingbury’s work are undoubtedly acquainted with the Baxters, who have been the central characters of ten of her books spanning two series. However, even those who pick up this book with no prior knowledge of plots or characters will find enough background material sprinkled into the story to know what’s going on.
Yet despite Kingbury’s ability to juggle multiple storylines at the same time, her book frequently reads like a clichéd soap opera. Just about every conflict that can happen does, and, of course, all are not only resolved by the end, but culminate into a “happily ever after” finale that would work in a perfect world, but not a real one. Whereas some reviewing and summarizing are necessary, especially in a five-book series, there’s too much here, slowing the story and proving that it could have and should have been told in far fewer books. All in all, there’s too much melodramatic filler and not enough depth.
Kingsbury explores issues, such as salvation, acceptance, teen relationships, marital conflicts, and forgiveness, and while the lessons taught ring true and may impact some, they’re often predictable, and any punches that could’ve been packed are lost when the story drags on far too long. Yes, the writing is good, but it’s clear that the Baxter family and their friends have overstayed their welcome. – Elizabeth Goldsmith, Christian Book Previews.com
Katy Hart is thrilled about her future with Hollywood’s Dayne Matthews. But as she plans a wedding and looks for a house on the shores of Lake Monroe, she receives tragic news. Now she and the members of the Baxter family must travel to Los Angeles and sort through their options. While paparazzi open fire on the Baxter family, Luke Baxter must wrestle with feelings that have troubled him for nearly a year. Ultimately, the Baxter family must pull together one last time in an act of service and love to help Katy and Dayne find what they’ve always been looking for--a chance at forever.