“To everything there is a season.” These words from the main character’s favorite song and a biblical passage represent a major theme of this debut novel by Twyla Enns. Reflections of Indigo is a coming-of-age story about a young woman whose life changes dramatically after the events of a fateful day.
Enns hooks readers from the first chapter, introducing a sympathetic protagonist facing a life and death decision. She leaves enough questions unanswered so that readers will want to follow along as the story unfolds. Most of the book is told in flashback, and this approach works effectively to bridge the gap between the first and last chapters and build interest as the plot develops.
Over five years of Desiree Sommers’ life, the sheltered seventeen-year old matures into a self-assured young woman despite hardship. Enduring manipulation from family members, dealing with her husband’s selfishness and unfaithfulness, and facing the choice between family and career, Desiree shows the strength of conviction to make tough decisions.
Enns is skilled at using descriptive imagery and symbolism. Desiree’s sister Erin is featured briefly in the book, and despite their typical sibling rivalry, she has a big impact on Desiree’s life. The wedding gift from Erin that Desiree receives after her death foreshadows events to come. The book takes its title from the crystal plaque with an inscription of the lyrics from the song, “Turn! Turn! Turn!” “So delicate was this small adornment,” Enns writes, “sparkling with every color of the rainbow—red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. Breathtaking. Especially the band of indigo, so thin, so difficult to distinguish.”
It is admirable that author Enns overcame the challenges of dyslexia to write this debut romance novel. Although the novel is written in third-person, it has the intimacy and detail of a first-person viewpoint, and readers can really feel Desiree’s emotional reactions to the events that befall her. Desiree’s love for her daughter Jodi is clearly conveyed, and her struggles during her second pregnancy are convincingly described.
The plot is a familiar one, but the novel’s characters are memorable. Vivid characterization makes the story grab at readers’ heartstrings up until the last chapter, which is bound to have readers cheering for Desiree’s courage, strength, and love for her children.
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