Thicker than Blood by C J Darlington is a gripping story of selfishness, cowardice, regrets, temptation, guilt, manipulation, violence, forgiveness, love and grace. The main character is Christy, a rebellious and guilt-ridden older sister. Strangely vulnerable, she is gifted at choosing the wrong kind of men and ending up emotionally-wounded and abused. Alcohol offers temporary anaesthesia of her emotions and pain but ultimately leaves her empty. Christy remains haunted by terrible mistakes in the past and struggles to cope with the demands of the present.
Then after many years, Christy reluctantly and hesitantly reconnects with May, the younger sister she abruptly deserted after their parents were killed. May is gutsy, determined, follows her dreams and makes them happen. Christy is astounded that May is now a follower of Christ, which adds to her strong feelings of guilt and worthlessness in May’s company. As for May, she struggles with Christy’s selfish and cowardly desertion at at time when she needed her big sister the most.
Will Christy remain in May’s life this time? Or will she run away for a second time, leaving irreparable damage behind her? Can May learn to forgive Christy from the heart?
And what of the men in their lives? There’s Hunter, Christy’s employer who constantly stands up for her in the workplace. Is he right to believe in her? Is she worthy of his trust? Vince is another employee and is also Christy’s abusive ex-boyfriend. He is manipulative and cruel, dishonest and violent. Is there anything Vince won’t stop at to get Christy back? And then there’s reliable, rough and ready Jim, May’s much-trusted ranch-hand. An ex-alcoholic and follower of Christ; in Jim, Christy finds a friend who understands her battles at the deepest levels.
This is Christian fiction at its best, an excellent read.