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Saturday, April 24, 2010

book review: "caleb + kate" by cindy martinusen-coloma

“Since childhood Sunday school, I’ve been told that God is love. We colored it on our papers, banners hanging from the ceiling proclaimed it, we sang songs and used hand motions emphasizing the truth….God is love. He was love and will always be love and is love. It’s simple and also the most profound statement on the planet.”

“Caleb + Kate” is a love story, both between the two main characters but also between Kate and God. Though God isn’t mentioned in the story a lot, there’s an underlying theme that flows through the book of Kate needing to understand God’s love in order to understand the love she feels for Caleb. The story is a modern “Romeo and Juliet” except with a happy ending. Kate’s family owns the Monrovi Inn chain of hotels. Caleb’s father works for the Monrovi Inn but his grandfather wants to buy it – there’s an old feud that still lingers between the families. When Caleb goes to Kate’s prom on a dare, there’s an instant connection between them. He tries to ignore it and prove to himself that she’s as stuck-up as he’s assumed but the more time he spends with her; the more he sees he’s wrong. When their families find out about the blossoming romance, both try to dissuade their children. Caleb and Kate are determined though. Their relationship hits a rough spot, however, when his grandfather is diagnosed with cancer. Since he lives in Hawaii, Caleb has to go there to be with him. Kate worries things will change during his absence. She wonders if he’ll meet someone or his professed love for her will wane. At the end of the book she goes to visit him after being a part for six months and comes to a realization. “Caleb and I are bound by more than an emotion. I am bound to this man by love. A love that was created by the existence of God himself. A love that is God.”

I read this book in two days – my norm for a book I enjoy. Though I’m a bit skeptical of “love at first sight” stories or stories where teenagers are supposed to fully understand what love is, this was a good read. I can identify with Kate who had the view of “what is love anyway?” before she met Caleb. “…doubts about the longevity and truth of love creep over me. Now that I love him, it creates an even greater gulf between dreams and reality. I have not seen what I feel. This is the fairy tale alive and real. I’ve briefly experienced its touch through the pages of a book or while watching certain movies, listening to a song – but this has engulfed me heart and soul.” I think we all crave a love like that. We want someone to love us so completely and fiercely and to return that emotion that we search for it our whole lives. Some of us have found it. Some of us are still searching. I’m still searching for it and this I know: it’s worth the search.

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