Between Sundays – Karen Kingsbury – Zondervan – Published 30 November 2007
Aaron Hill has it all—athletic good looks and the many privileges of a star quarterback. His Sundays are spent playing NFL football in front of a televised audience of millions. But Aaron’s about to receive an unexpected handoff, one that will give him a whole new view of his self-centered life.
Derrick Anderson is a family man who volunteers his time with foster kids while sustaining a long career as a pro football player. But now he’s looking for a miracle. He must act as team mentor while still striving for the one thing that matters most this season—keeping a promise he made years ago. Megan Gunn works two jobs and spends her spare time helping at the youth center. Much of what she does, she does for the one boy for whom she is everything—a foster child whose dying mother left him in Megan’s care. Now she wants to adopt him, but one obstacle stands in the way. Her foster son, Cory, is convinced that 49ers quarterback Aaron Hill is his father.
Two men and the game they love. A woman with a heart for the lonely and lost, and a boy who believes the impossible. Thrown together in a season of self-discovery, they’re about to learn lessons in character and grace, love and sacrifice.Because in the end life isn’t defined by what takes place on the first day of the week, but how we live it between Sundays.
I have a confession to make – this is the first book I have read by Karen Kingsbury. I know! For someone who reads a fair amount of Christian fiction it seems strange that I have skipped over her books entirely. But no longer. I have had Between Sundays sitting on my shelf for a while now and the other day I picked it up on a whim. And I didn’t put it down. I enjoyed the emotionally charged story. Second chances, finding faith, love, foster children, the importance of family, and even American football all combine in a heartwarming story.
Cory knows who his dad is, his mother told him, but no one believes him. Now his mother is dead and he is living with Megan, his foster mother. But when the youth centre organises a pizza party with the the San Francisco 49ers quarterback Derrick Anderson, Cory knows it is his chance to finally meet his dad – because his father is quarterback Aaron Hill.
This book includes both an author’s note by Karen and a foreword by Adam Smith, who both raise the important issue of foster children. This is a topic particularly dear to my heart. I also liked how Karen notes that Aaron Hill is not modelled off Adam Smith. That’s because the character Aaron has a lot of changes to undergo in this novel. I enjoyed reading his journey as through faith and friendship he is transformed from aloof, proud, and cavalier to a caring and understanding man who wants to make right his mistakes. Adam Smith is more a model for the other character Derrick, who acts as a mentor to Aaron and is devoted to God, his family, and helping foster kids.
I enjoyed the romance in this story. Megan tries to keep her distance from Aaron, initially because she does not like his character and later for the sake of both her own and Cory’s hearts. But she is drawn to Aaron and can’t help noting the changes in him. Cory is a sweet young kid who has been handed some tough situations, but he remains a caring and understanding man. The story is told in third person but switches perspective between all four main characters, Derrick, Cory, Aaron and Megan.
This might have been my first Karen Kingsbury novel, but it certainly won’t be my last.
Genre: Christian contemporary.
Themes: family, children, foster children, parents, American football, faith, second chances.
Published: 30 November 2007 by Zondervan.
Format: Hardcover, paperback, ebook, audiobook. 298 pages.