Coming over from Goodreads, dipping a toe in the waters over here.
Update: I'm trying to update my Calibre reviews into GR and just discovered I apparently wrote one for this... who knows when? But here 'tis:
I re-read the first three books and then dove right into this one while on a road trip. Re-reading the first three confirmed what I already thought about them: KPR is one of my favorite books and Deacon one of my favorite people; I adore Shane and loved his story more than I'd remembered; and although I like Jeff and Collin, for some reason I've just never gotten as invested in them. Also, I'm totally confused as to exactly what the age difference is between them. I know it's 7-10 years, but the math and references result in different numbers at almost every mention.
Also, what ever happened to Judy Thompson, and why did she apparently have a few dinners at The Pulpit and never get mentioned again? She seemed like she'd fit right in and really add something to the group, so I was disappointed when she just disappeared. I don't remember noticing that on my first reading, but it stood out now.
So that was the context with which I eagerly dove into this fourth book. It's not a fair comparison to say it didn't grab me like KPR, because very few books do. But I found that for as much as I was enjoying spending time at The Pulpit, and thinking about the people as I was driving, I didn't find it too difficult to set down each night.
I loved that we got each of the different POVs and wrap-up and resolution for everyone. Well, almost everyone. There was one major event that I did NOT see coming, and that pissed me the hell off when I stumbled into it. That's what it felt like, that jarring step when you misjudge the distance to the ground and roll your ankle, then fall to the ground. In other words, this particular plot point went over with a THUD for me.
I couldn't see what purpose it would serve, other than to provide angst and tug the readers' (and the characters') heart strings. Amy Lane is a good enough writer that even knowing I was being emotionally manipulated didn't stop me from tearing up. But I really think the story would have worked even better if there'd been the happy resolution I was expecting for that particular thread.
And look, here was this incredible, wonderful, powerful story neatly wrapping up the lives of people (not 'characters', they're too real for that!) I've come to love, but is that the first thing I thought to mention? No, and that's really sad. Because it is a wonderful, powerful story that wraps up almost perfectly the lives of these lovable people.
Original "review" 09 July 2013: I finished this yesterday and I'm still figuring out how to rate and review this one. So much I loved, and a little I hated.