The Sophomore Soar!

Since first sticking a toe into the publishing world, I’ve often heard about the dreaded “sophomore slump.” An author’s first book does reasonably or even very well, then she chokes and book two falls short. Well, it may be a common problem, but it’s surely not universal.

I read Marybeth Whalen’s first novel The Mailbox summer before last. It was a good book. Not a great book, not a book that made me stake out Amazon.com waiting for the next one, but it was entertaining. This past summer I was gifted with a copy of Marybeth’s second book She Makes It Look Easy. Nice. I tucked it away on a shelf. Well last week I was pretty far into my must and should reads so I decided to give Marybeth’s sophomore book a try.

Whoa.

Marybeth cautions her readers that her second book is very different from the first. She describes The Mailbox as a light, beach read. She talks about how her second book stretched her as a writer, made her dig deeper. And I LOVED it. This is no light, romance. This is a thoughtful and unflinching look into how a “good Christian” can rationalize her way deep into sin. And how what we think looks like perfection can mask misery.

The book description says, “A novel for every woman who has looked at another woman’s life and said, ‘I want what she has,’ She Makes It Look Easy reminds us of the danger of pedestals and the beauty of authentic friendship.” So it does. I highly recommend it. And now I’m really looking forward to Marybeth’s junior effort!

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