The second installment of J.A. Cummings’ three-part series offers an inspirational, if unrealistic, story of romance and redemption. Glenda’s Miracle takes up the story of Charles and Sarah Crowe, introduced in Forever and a Day, from the perspective of their troubled daughter, Glenda. Cummings’ wholesome tale of recovery from rock-bottom drug addiction has little nuance, but plenty of heart.
We meet Glenda as she’s awakening from a drug overdose that should have taken her life. Instead, she’s recharged. An apparent act of grace allows her to move quickly from helpless addict to aspiring student and talented worker. Many roads open up for her, including those leading back to her estranged family and forward to a new romance with a devoted minister. Glenda’s new job in a law firm allows her to sleuth out unsolved crimes that seem unrelated to her family at first, but in the end may be crucial pieces of her own puzzle.
It’s a compelling setup, and Cummings tells the story in a good-natured, uplifting tone clearly meant to inspire. What this often means, however, is that the more difficult sides of things such as drug detox and family reunions are barely touched on before Glenda moves on to her next triumph. If Cummings had developed Glenda’s story to include more of the rough moments, the journey would have been more engaging.
The lengthy novel also lacks proportion. Too much space is devoted to mundane details—a step-by-step description of how folks set up beach chairs, for example—and not enough is spent on character development. Trading these trivial passages for more of Glenda’s inner thoughts would strengthen the story significantly.
There’s just enough drama in these pages to keep readers interested. New connections pop up in every chapter, though none is especially surprising. Still, readers looking for light entertainment will enjoy Cummings’ clear, easy-to-read style and reassuring tone.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.