It’s been awhile since I’ve posted, but this particular book took up alot of time to read. It was three novels within one book, and each book was well written and kept me captivated. The first story was about Ellen and her family, and what they are facing after their father died. There are problems that reign amongst each other, and two sisters who can barely tolerate to stay in the same room with one another. The week is strife with problems, one sister is having to deal with issues created years ago. Another, contemplates having an affair with a lost boyfriend, and the rest of the family is having to deal with the problems of their own, including those of everyone else. Towards the end, there is a climax, one that will probably require a tissue. My suggestion, don’t finish reading it on a lunch break!
The second story, “When Joy Came to Stay”, was equally good. A young woman is wrapped up in grief for a decision that she made years before. Guilt for her choices, and the inadvertent belief that her husband is the reason she made her long ago choice. In turn, she checks herself into a mental institution. Her husband, not certain what is going on, starts researching his wife’s life, to see what is in her past to cause her to react so traumatically. The end result, is wonderful, yet sad.
The third story, “On Every Side” is not anything like the two previous stories. However, in it’s own way it is just as good. The town of Bethany is facing a lawsuit for a statue they’ve had for years in their town center. An association, who likes to sue people/places for having religious artifacts in places which should be separated by church and state, they go after the town of Bethany. However, a lawyer for the firm, has a personal vendetta against the statue. The story again, focuses not only on one of two individuals, but a collection of characters that pulls the story together.
These stories all didn’t involve necessarily a central figure. Rather, the people who were the stars were all integral pieces to the telling of the story. All in all, if you have time, take time to read each of the stories, but allowing a breather between each. Well worth your time!
The one thing I disagree with, is the blurbs on the back of the book, giving a synopsis of each story. I’m not sure if the person who is writing the blurbs actually read it, but I think it is totally off. There is an elements of truth to it, but there’s so much more depth in the book. The blurbs feel more like “fluff”. When I finish reading the stories, and then compare them to the back, I have to shake my head.
A complimentary review copy was provided by Waterbrook Multnomah to give an honest opinion of the book I read. Any opinions are my own.