The Other Sister by Cheri Paris Edwards

April 13, 2011 

The Other Sister

The author’s second novel The Other Sister neatly fits into the popular Urban Christian Fiction genre.  It’s the prodigal son recast as the daughter returning home with a lot of baggage stuffed with dirty laundry.  Sanita Jefferson, a preacher’s daughter left her midwest home to get an education in California but somehow sidetracked to Hollywood dreaming of stardom as a video vixen.  There she engaged in sinful conduct falling under the spell of a different kind of preacher man.  The family has its own drama when the prodigal child returns.  Unlike the biblical father James Jefferson withholds his forgiveness.  The older sister Carla copes with professional challenges and an unrequited love when the object of her affection sets eyes on Sanita.  The major and minor cast of characters are all clearly drawn including a lecherous deacon, the busy body church lady and loyal non-judgmental friends.  Sanita’s journey is a spiritual homecoming offering lessons in forgiveness, redemption, and a return to faith.

The story is told from the Third Person Omniscient point of view and what more appropriate technique for a story of faith.  Most editors and agents frown upon this writing method viewed as distracting and confusing jumping from one character’s mind to another.  Cheri Paris Edward appears to be adept in mastering the technique.  As one blogger explains:  “This style is often frowned upon, and comes under fire from many writing style authorities. Nine times out of ten at least, it’s a liability to the book. But there are a few stories that must use this style and come out better for it. Since these stories are few and far between, writers are encouraged to use careful judgment, and avoid omniscient viewpoint unless it would add something extraordinary.”

Like a soap opera, once you get into the drama and characters there’s a desire to follow till the end.  Full of conflict and surprising turns chocked with saccharin melodrama The Other Sister is an extraordinary book.

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