Thanks to my Mother-in-Law a few years ago I was introduced to the O’Malley Series by Dee Henderson. She gave me the books to read through and I laughed, smiled, and zipped through them quickly. After I finished the series one thing that bothered me. I felt that since Jennifer O’Malley was such a central character to the entire plot of the series it was a shame that we got to see the love stories of the rest of the family–but we completely missed hers other than the few times it’s represented throughout the series.
Because of this sentiment I was so happy when I found out that Dee Henderson was coming out with Jennifer’s story–the story behind the series. I was also curious how much it would include, when it would start and stop, and how the relationship between Jennifer and Tom would begin.
The book is quite little–as in size wise it’s very small and only 150 pages. I read it quickly in about 2 evenings-but I felt that since it is really more of a prequel/behind the series look it’s length was a good one.
Overall I was happy with the book. It was great getting to see how Jennifer comes to know Christ and how Tom was influential in her decision. It was also great and super insightful to see how they got to know each other, to watch them fall in love, and see how they both respond to her life changing news. I felt that her reaction, as well as his, to this was very believable and I like it how she really struggles with it and asks the hard questions about it. It was also fun to see some of the other O’Malley characters pop in and out of the book.
One of the things that I disliked throughout the entire series, however, was again present in this book. In most of the books the two main characters get into a relationship and one is a Christian, and one is not–and for most cases this seems to be disregarded (though not in all the books). This book is no exception–Tom the devoted Christian starts dating Jennifer even though he knows she isn’t a Christian. While I’m all about not pushing our relationship with Christ on others, neither do I believe that Christians should date those who don’t believe in order to try to bring them to Christ–I’ve seen too many examples of shattered dreams and broken homes in real life for this to resonate with me in situations that always end up “happily ever after”.
Even with the above concerns I really did enjoy the entire series and would highly recommend reading it–if you loved the O’Malley Series you definitely will want to own this one, and if not this is a great place to start and will give you a good feel for the rest of the series! Don’t just take my word for it though! Go check out the other Amazon Reviews on Jennifer by Dee Henderson — so far it has 214 and close to 5 stars!