Monday, February 16, 2009

Review of COUNTING THE COST, by Liz Adair

Liz Adair, fellow LDS author, friend and member of LDStorymakers, has written a beautiful new novel. I spent several days last week reading and relishing this book as I prepared to review it. A glimpse of one "workday" is posted below under the post titled, "Taking a Sick Day" where you can see for yourself what fun I had on this assignment.

Buy a copy or two. It delivers like Nicholas Sparks while it's cowboy setting and action will captivate those who generaly shun romance. It's got it all, and I loved every page. Enjoy!

Counting The Cost
By Liz Adair

Liz Adair’s bittersweet western drama, Counting the Cost, delivers a fresh take on an old theme—the struggles of lovers from two different worlds--that will pierce your heart regardless of gender or favored genre. Drawing from the lives of her ancestors, Adair melds adept historical research with rich literary wordsmithing and exquisitely developed characters, to transport her readers to the Depression-era New Mexico prairie. In this barren beauty, age-old values become the fulcrum upon which human virtue and frailty are balanced.

Counting the Cost delivers the emotional equivalent of a body-wrenching rodeo ride. Adair immediately lulls you, placing you in the saddle with exquisite descriptions of peaceful cowboy life, sprinkled with crisp humor. And then the gates open as human passions jerk her characters from their idyll, and choices determine the next pitch of the ride.

The book tackles difficult topics, but the author delicately handles each one with discretion and care while avoiding triviality or excuse. Sweet torture ensues as brief, tender glimpses into the spiritual discoveries of the book’s hero, Heck Benham, are discreetly woven throughout the story, like a secret, adding further dimension to an already rich character, and intensifying his moral wrestle. Heck’s loyalty and love for one woman challenges his inner compass, and like the cadence of an approaching drumbeat, these truths inevitably emerge: Choice matters. Character matters. Timing matters. And consequences fall due.

This reader went for the tissues several times and slammed the book shut a few as well, unprepared to face the foreshadowed events looming ahead. And then I reopened the book and read on, unable to set it aside until I knew the outcome, attesting to Liz Adair’s captivating writing.

A book with this power to engage makes a perfect gift for anyone, and a splendid personal treat.

Counting the Cost, published by Inglestone Publishing, is set for a March release, though pre-release copies are available at or from

Laurie LC Lewis

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