You know how a book sometimes just grabs you by the throat …
Catherine Hudson recommended Sway to me (in an almost incoherent message punctuated with exclamation marks) so I knew it would be good. I’d never heard of Amy Matayo so I checked her out on Amazon. There were two previous books and I read those first. Glad I did it that way around. They were entertaining, but Sway? Whoa.
Yes, it’s a romance. That’s the bulk of what I read. And I think it’s because Caleb and Kate take turns in telling us the story in first person, present tense that the story is extra special. And Amy Matayo’s use of imagery and figurative language is fabulous along with a bunch of pithy statements like:
’Assumptions aren’t usually pretty, and they’re hardly ever right. Kind of like thinking a girl is shallow just because she likes the colour pink.’
We find out about twenty-four-year-old Caleb first, learn he’s uncomfortable sitting in a bar because he used to frequent them. We know he’s there to watch out for some of his boys, but who they are and what Caleb’s occupation might be isn’t revealed until just over a third of the way into the book. Clever move.
What we do find out in the first chapter is that he is a man who listens to nudges from God even though it could cause him grief. What Caleb doesn’t expect is for his heart to be captured that night.
Kate, a college student, is there because her friends thought it would be a good idea to go to a bar for her twenty-first birthday. When it all turns to custard (in an all too realistic fashion) Kate is rescued by Caleb.
What follows is an intensely emotional story of two people falling in love and then discovering they can’t possibly ever be together. I’d read the blurb but had no idea what the conflict could be. And once it was revealed, I couldn’t put the book down until it was resolved.
Of course, being a romance, Sway has a satisfying ending, but the ride left me breathless. And I don’t think I’ve ever read a better last line - albeit before an epilogue - in a Christian novel.
I can’t wait for Amy Matayo’s next book.
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