I became interested in reading Gone to Green after reading the book’s description:
Lois goes from being a corporate journalist at a large paper in the Midwest to the owner of The Green News-Item, a small twice-weekly newspaper in rural North Louisiana. The paper was an unexpected inheritance from a close colleague, and Lois must keep it for at least a year, bringing a host of challenges, lessons, and blessings into her life.
When Lois pulls into Green on New Year’s Day, she expects a charming little town full of smiling people. She quickly realizes her mistake. After settling into a loaned house out on Route 2, she finds herself battling town prejudices and inner doubts and making friends with the most surprising people: troubled teenager Katy, good-looking catfish farmer Chris, wise and feisty Aunt Helen, and a female African-American physician named Kevin.
Whether fighting a greedy, deceitful politician or rescuing a dog she fears, Lois notices the headlines in her life have definitely improved. She learns how to provide small-town news in a big-hearted way and realizes that life is full of newsworthy moments. When she encounters racial prejudice and financial corruption, Lois also discovers more about the goodness of real people and the importance of being part of a community.
While secretly preparing the paper for a sale, Lois begins to realize that God might indeed have a plan for her life and that perhaps the allure of city life and career ambition are not what she wants after all.
Now, as I’ve said before, I don’t always go in for religious novels, especially truly overtly religious novels. This one, however, wasn’t bad – religion was a part of the book, and the people in it were obviously Christian, but it wasn’t everything in the novel. The main story was about a journalist who goes from the corporate newspaper world to a small town newspaper and the challenges she finds there.
I can relate, somewhat, at least in acknowledging the differences between the corporate world and the small-town newspaper life. The headlines are different, what is considered newsworthy is different, and you have a whole different string of people to answer to, usually. In a small town newspaper, you usually help out with a lot of different parts of the newspaper. In the corporate world, you have your own bubble and only help out if someone leaves/is on vacation/etc. If you write sports, you’re going to be strictly sports-related.
I, personally, liked working for smaller weeklies best, versus my summer stint as an intern at a larger, daily newspaper. However, let’s move past my experiences and talk about the book.
The writing flowed well, and I enjoyed reading it. The personalities of most of the characters were thought out, though a couple of the “bad guys” in the story were less so. (They were a little stereotypical, but hey, stereotypes are based on real people somewhere, right?) My favorite character was probably Aunt Helen. Everyone knows someone like her, and if you don’t, you’re missing out.
It had a good message, and if you like Christian novels, I think you will definitely like this book. I’m probably going to have to pick up the second novel and see what happens to Lois next.