"Different doesn't mean less significant or with less potential." ~ Archie of Outlandish
If you're looking for a sweet, romantic novel this summer, look no further. Archie of Outlandish is the latest by author Lynnette Kraft and is perfect for fans of Christian, young adult fiction and contemporary romance novels. And, like her fantasy novel Ingrid, Archie of Outlandish is once again beautifully illustrated by her daughter, Abigail Kraft, and comes with an original score composed by her son, Jared Kraft.
This timeless romance centers around the small, coastal town of Outlandish, CA and its most unusual resident, Archibald "Archie" Plumby. Archie is a 20-year-old aspiring writer who works for the local newspaper when he meets Tallie, a young photographer, who is in Outlandish on assignment. What catches her eye immediately is the one thing that makes Archie stand out from anyone she's ever met. Although a very positive and confident young man, Archie has one unique quality. Because of a phobia of wide-open spaces that causes panic attacks, he lives his life under umbrellas. However, instead of letting this "handicap" cause restrictions on or bitterness in his life, Archie has learned how to embrace his challenge.
"My life might be different than yours, and I realize my scenario is uncommon, but it is only a limiting circumstance if I allow it to be." ~ Archie of Outlandish
In an interview with Kraft, she tells me that the story of Archie was originally conceptualized as a children's story. However, over time it grew into this love story of a young man overcoming his obstacles while keeping a positive outlook on life. "I guess I sort of mothered Archie," Kraft told me, "by brainstorming ways to offer him a normal life within his particular set of boundaries." Kraft's faith is very prominent in this story and provides uplifting courage amidst adversity.
"Everyone is facing something that can't be (or wasn't meant to be) fixed," Kraft continued. "It takes courage to accept those things in our lives. Courage and acceptance can bring confidence and peace, even when we are teased or harassed. In turn, our confidence has the potential to inspire and provoke courage in others." In this respect, Archie was truly an uplifting character.
"Don't let a day go by without reaching for something you love." ~ Archie of Outlandish
Of course, the relationship between Archie and Tallie isn't without some complications, but it is how they deal with them that makes this love story so endearing. I don't want to spoil too much of the plot for you, but will mention that Tallie is a strong, confident character as well, but, as most women (sigh), must make difficult choices between which of her dreams to pursue.
The setting of Outlandish is itself serene and undeniably charming and adds to the appeal of the story. Kraft told me she deliberately left out a specific time frame and references, preferring her readers use their own imaginations and preferences to complete that aspect.
Archie of Outlandish and the soundtrack are available on Amazon.
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