Review: Indelible by Kristen Heitzmann
DISCLAIMER: I rec’d Indelible from the publisher (WaterBrook Multnomah) as part of their Blogging for Books program. I rec’d no other compensation and the following review is my honest reaction to this work of fiction.
I really like to pick up a light fiction book occasionally … especially after reading a heavy non-fiction book or two. Call it escapist or vacation reading; it makes me happy and I especially enjoy reading a Christian chicklit romance or cozy mystery.
So it was with light heart that I picked up Indelible by Kristen Heitzmann. Heitzmann is purportedly a well-loved Christian chick-lit writer, winning awards for her romantic-suspense novels, historical fiction and other books. I enjoy romance stories when they’re woven with a suspenseful plot.
Boy, was I disappointed! The main plot of Indelible? The heroine, Natalie Reeve, who has just moved to the fictional Rocky Mountain town of Redford, is a sculptor who has the unique ability to remember a face, scene or other image after a mere glimpse — defined in the book as “eidetic memory” but simply known as “photographic memory”. Natalie’s “talent” is almost debilitating in that she sees and then sculpts “what God sees”, she sees into the soul of whoever she looks upon. Trevor MacDaniel who owns an outfitter store is a former Olympic-medal winning skiier whose past is pretty rough — his dad left when he was young, his littlest brother died at the age of 5; Trevor feels the need to rescue and guard everyone with whom he comes in contact. The burgeoning romance between the eidetic-memoried sculptor and a has-been Olympic-medal-winning skiier would have been story enough without the sub-plots of a stalker, previous relationships with characters who live in the town, a blind artist, an uber techno-geek, an amputeed 3-yr-old and his MLB-playing father who has a broken leg, etc. TOO MUCH!
Another issue is that virtually every character in the book has a “past” — some horrendous event that is still causing issues for each and every one of the players. Some of these characters’ stories were explained in Heitzmann’s previous book, Indivisible, while others sound like sequels — this is a tactic that is VERY unfair to readers; books, even those in a series, should be able to stand alone and be read with minimal reference to other books. I think that’s what bothered me most about this book: every character in the book is a victim of his/her past; the idea that nothing is one’s fault because his/her past was imposed on his/her life is a recurring theme throughout the 322 pages of this novel.
This could have been such an interesting story if Heitzmann had stuck to one main plot and one or two of the subplots. There was so much melodrama going on, it read like an old episode of Mary Hartmann, Mary Hartmann! I can’t believe that this one small town at 8000ft in the Rockies could be responsible for so many with emotional issues! It was draining and depressing.
I don’t recommend this work of fiction!