This book, as most of the Christian fiction by this author, starts out fairly plebian, even mediocre. I thought it would be like a James Herriot novel...a gentle, 600-page long story about the families centered around a country church. Boy, was I wrong. As with most Xtian fic by Rivers, the gentle beginning with the hack wordage is just a ruse! It is a story about how little by little people can slip into sin...the Devil slides in the needle without the characters noticing. The country church booms and becomes a megachurch...is the blessing from God? Or from someone else? It is well plotted, and even frightening although it is no _Oath_. The motivations of the pastor make sense and there is no deus ex machina to make everything back to happy-normal at the end. Pride has to be chopped down and cast into the fire, forever. Now, since Rivers is a romance writer, there is of course a restored romance at the end...but it does not come without cost.
The most frightening thing about this novel is not how it shows the steady decline away from God and into the hell of self, but that it reflects actual situations. It's not a roman a clef but might as well be one. God save us all.
This is truly agood book...Francine draws you into the setting and people right at the start. I did not want to put it down...I kept waiting for the Shofar to blow. LOL!
Francine Rivers did not disappoint me in this book. Once I started reading this book I didn't want to put it down. I love the way she takes the Bible and puts it into a story that we can all relate to. I recommend this book highly.
Another thoughtful and courageous work by Ms. Rivers.
Unfortunately, Eunice (the heroine) quietly suffers along through most of the book, enabling her power-hungery, domineering husband to plow along in his sin so long that I skimmed too many pages. Yes, Eunice's character was upright--but I would have liked to see her practice Godly meekness far sooner in the storyline, encouraging the reader that if one is abused, it is right to protect yourself and your child. Repentence and forgiveness is allowed at the very end, but the reader is left with little understanding of how a wife can move through that forgiveness.
If you have a "week stomach" for a heroine who is a door mat, this will leave a bad taste in your mouth.
Francine Rivers has been given a gift in writing fictional novels. This story is about a young pastor who is called to an old church.
Faced with the pressure of a world famous preacher for a father, and wanting to build God's church, Paul Hudson makes many decisions that aren't exactly biblical. Francine paints a picture of God's heart for his sheep and the wonderful redemption He has for every one of us.