by: Julie Klassen
[Rom 13:12-14 ESV] 12 The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light. 13 Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy. 14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.
I have been putting off the writing of this review because it is with a heavy heart I do so. While this book is well written, with lots of mystery and twists, it is not at all what I would expect from a well-known Christian author. I realize I will be in the minority for my opinion, but I cannot, in good conscience, lay the book aside without giving fair warning to other conservative Christians.
This book has a strong love triangle that pulls back and forth at Hannah. I found her to be quite wishy-washy. I was surprised at how steamy the intimate scenes were. Where my friend and I who share books are usually fine with handing books down to her teenage daughter, I have warned her not to do so with this book. Perhaps utilizing Penguin Publishing instead of Bethany house gave the author more freedom. While she does not cross the line completely, I know I felt disturbed reading the material.
God, church, scripture are hardly present at all in this book. In one of the much later chapters, maybe 2/3 or more through, Hannah finally has a repentant heart, and prays to God. She is encouraged by a kindly staff member and reminded of God’s forgiveness. She even shows incredible grace to her nemesis. However, shortly after that, she still seems wishy-washy about which man she will choose. After being out looking for one man, and then packing and paying the remainder of her rent to continue to look for him, she receives the other into her room: [“But, Hannah, I want to be with you. I could not bear to never touch you again…” He ran his hands up her arms, lowered his head and kissed her exposed shoulder, prickling her skin into gooseflesh. “Don’t go yet. Stay and give me a chance. Give us a chance.” For one moment, she considered it.-Ch.29] Uuuugh. That was hard to read. Even though she had been careful to not let him in her room previously for the sake of propriety, for this scene she did. She did not come off very repentant. And allowing him to get that close to her and touch her was just cruel.
The Bible is clear, that lust is a sin. Rather than just being a casual observer of what the character was going through, as related to simple alluded to explanation, I felt drawn in with more explicit detail than was necessary. Sadly, I believe reading the romantic scenes in this book can easily promote the reader to feel lust.
I can only pray that her next book, The Painter’s Daughter, scheduled for release in December through Bethany House will be a cleaner read.
Berkley Books, a div of Penguin Random House Publishing
384 pages + Readers Study Guide
I received an advance copy of the book in exchange for my honest opinion.
Read: 07/11&12/15-, Reviewed: 07/15/15