In A Far-Off Land by Stephanie Landsem // Review

My Review:

A re-telling of the Parable of the Prodigal Son set in Hollywood during the Great Depression.

Minerva leaves her home in Odessa, South Dakota to chase her dreams in the bright lights of Tinseltown, but things aren't as they appear in the movies and soon she finds herself desperate, making compromises. When she wakes up next to a dead movie star, everything that she worked so hard to keep afloat comes crumbling down. 

A well written read novel that does a good job of bringing to life the gritty underside of Hollywood's early days, with all of the glitz and glamour, and fool's gold promises. I loved the complex and imperfect characters, each with their own secrets and desires. I think that the author did a great job of retelling the parable while making it her own. 

Max is the charismatic and enigmatic agent who takes Minerva under his wing, while Oscar fights for his family's survival while searching for the truth behind his employer's murder. I loved Lupita, her beautiful heart for others and how she offered friendship to Mina. 

This is an engaging read with a well crafted plot, but there also many things that might give readers pause. This book doesn't shy away from the darkside of Hollywood, and Mina makes bad choices that while not explicitly depicted, it doesn't shy away from them either going further than most books in the genre--if you are OK with Redeeming Love then you likely won't have a problem with this book . There is also the repeated use of a racial slur. Also the faith elements are not as overt as other books of the genre until the end.

In the end I did enjoy this book, but I know that it won't be for everyone. I would definitely recommend for more mature readers. A well rendered retelling, with flawed characters, and an engaging plot.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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