It sort of feels like blasphemy letting those words slide off my tongue, but it’s the truth.
It wasn’t until a few years ago when I read “Heavenly Places” by Kim Cash Tate, that my faith in quality fiction was restored.
Over a year ago I was skimming the shelves of the Christian fiction shelf and came across this book by Karen Kingsbury.
At the time , my husband and I had just gone through a rough patch in our marriage. After reading the synopsis of this book, I was intrigued and hoped to be encouraged by the characters story of endurance and restoration.
It kept my attention for a few short days, and then I stopped reading.
To be clear…this happens to me often, so it wasn’t necessarily that the book wasn’t good. When a book doesn’t grab my attention immediately, I stop reading it and return back to it at a better suited time. This is also the reason I usually read more than one book at a time.
About a week ago I decided to give it another try, and this morning I finished it. (A whole week to finish a book may seem like a long time to you fellow bookworms. But with a husband, 2 small kiddos, 12 vocal students, and a script to learn for a play…this was no small feat.)
All in all, this was a good read. I love the way Kingsbury threads the word of God into every day conversation between the characters. Every character is faced with an opportunity to hear and heed to the voice of God in this story. He’s in their thoughts, He’s in their hopes, He’s in their mistakes, and He’s in their choices. I was so inspired by this! It encouraged me to evaluate how of ten I include, acknowledge or even ignore God’s nudges and voice in my every day life.
I also loved the family dynamic. It was evident the main female character Abby had spent quality time with her children ; nurturing their gifts, their understanding of God, and loving them for their unique personalities. An even greater awareness became evident as the story unfolded : even great, perfectly matched, God-fearing marriages endure rough seasons. From John’s attraction to another woman to Abby’s inability to admit her own contributions to their troubled marriage, I was convicted, encouraged, and inspired to be more specific about the prayers I cover my marriage in.
This story was realistic.
There were a few times I felt as if the story was dragging a bit. The dialogue lacked depth and it was very much a predictable plot.
While I wouldn’t quite say I’m a new Karen Kingsbury fan, I will most likely read more of her books.
3 out of 5 stars for an enjoyable, realistic read.
Here’s to renewed faith in Christian fiction.