In the tradition of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, four friends navigate college and the drama churned up by their Florida beach band to cement friendship and more.
Avra wants love, but drummer Cisco—self-medicating from his parents’ divorce with sex and intoxicants—is a poor choice. Cisco hungers for fresh-baked cookies and the scent of family he finds at Avra’s.
Kallie shares her classically trained singing voice only with lead vocalist Jesse and fights to keep her heart safe. Jesse feeds on fame and hides more than insecurity beneath his guitar.
The friends surf ego, betrayal, and ambition and head for wipe-out. But somehow, when they’re not looking, Avra’s God changes them all.
Avra’s God by Ann Lee Miller, is an inspirational coming of age tale of four young adults Avra, Kallie, Jesse and Cisco. I know some would classify this as Christian literature, but just because it mentions a divine power, doesn’t mean only a certain class of reader will enjoy it. Author Miller writes a compelling story about life changes and the rocky path all of us have to adulthood. Please don’t shy away from this book because it may not be your regular genre. It isn’t my normal genre either; but I utterly enjoyed it.
The first young adult the reader meets is Avra, the oldest child in a house built by Norman Rockwell. She is invisible to the opposite sex or so she thinks. Too tall, too athletic – too everything the male population doesn’t like. Avra believes in God; a God of forgiveness, brightness and hope. No, she is not a follow me because I preach it character. She is a follow me because I live it character. Avra is far from perfect; but she is the person we should all strive to be in life, flaws and all.
The second young adult is Kallie, described as a beauty with long white blond hair. She has looks and is admired by the male student body of State of Daytona. What possible problems could she have? Avra ponders a similar questions about Kallie. Well, I first met Kallie in Miller’s book The Art of My Life, she was the older sister to the main female character Aly. In that book Kallie is a young married mother. Here Kallie is a twenty year old college junior with daddy issues. Those issues being her father is a horrible man, who abandoned his first family when he started a new one. The impact his actions have on Kallie and her inability to trust in love has damaged this wonderful girl. How will Kallie as damaged as she is grow into a well rounded adult?
Third you have Cisco, handsome, charming and a player. He comes from a recent broken home, and has a deep need for normalcy in his life. His home life is depicted in the book is hectic and scattered. That normalcy that he craves, steps in front of him in the guise of Avra and her family. Being a player and him being attracted to Avra with her moral convictions, makes for an interesting relationship. These two characters come from totally different worlds, both socially and morally. Can two people from totally different worlds survive in a relationship?
Lastly, Jesse, the preacher’s son, who would rather have God and his father ignore him; as he has had a falling out with both his earthly and heavenly fathers. Jesse doesn’t want to be tied down. He wants a big life. A rock star life with all the trappings. He loves the adoration of the crowd and the love he feels from the many girls who flock to him. His major problem is that despite him not wanting to settle down, he has met his soul mate in Kallie. How far can a young man run from his destiny? Only he know?
All of Miller’s characters are flawed, real, and engaging. This is not a fairy tale where the knight is there to slay the dragon and rescue the princess. A higher power is needed to see these friends into an adulthood as they deal with their demons. Their path to adulthood isn’t what they thought it might be, as the road to adulthood is never easy. I remember being young and trying to find my own way, it’s that time when some lives balance on the a knife edge, one wrong move can change a life forever. For these four young friends they will be tested and what choices they make for ill or good will strengthen their mettle. Ann Lee Millers book was a very enjoyable read.