Thursday, January 17, 2013

Book Review :: Song of the Brokenhearted

Ava has a loving family, a beautiful house, and a solid faith.
Suddenly, her ideal life will be completely broken . . . in the best of ways.
Ava’s life is full of great things. Her daughter is getting married to just the right guy, her husband’s company has kept them financially thriving for years, her son is a freshman in high school, playing football and doing well, and the ministry she started is keeping her busy as she reaches out to those with “broken hearts.”
Then it all falls apart. Ava’s safe world becomes unanchored, and she is forced to face the childhood she’s run away from her entire life. Just as she’s trying to sift through the pieces, the doorbell rings and Ava is confronted with the surprise of her life.
Ava must set out on a journey that takes her back home—something Ava hasn’t done in twenty years. As she travels across the state of Texas, strangers offer her kindness and remind her of the meaning of hope and forgiveness.
It is in this journey back that Ava discovers God in a new way. She sees she's been hiding her brokenness behind good deeds and a safe life. Learning what it means to lose it all is just the start of Ava’s journey – as is the new song God is writing on her heart.

When I was scrolling through Booksneeze looking for a new book to review, this one jumped out at me. First of all, because of the beautiful artwork (what? of COURSE I judge a book by it's cover.). But, after hearing Sheila Walsh speak at Women of Faith last year, I was also really excited to read something she had written, because that woman is a storyteller.

The book did not disappoint. I like how Ava's family was human. It wasn't just people around her that were struggling, but she was struggling. She couldn't juggle it all, she let things slip through her fingers, and she was real. The authors also weren't afraid to show her failings and weaknesses. I saw myself so much in her, longing for a comfortable life, not wanting my life to make waves. If everything would fall into place, then life would be good right?

Of course, life does not work that way, and it really is for the best. No matter how hard that lesson is.

The characters that Walsh and Coloma created to bounce off of Ava were all so interesting. They were able to make them real, and a lot of them popped right off the page and into my living room. There are a lot of hurting people in this world, and these characters told just a couple of those stories. The one that I felt the most for, and who pushed against me the most, was the typical church lady who was always in the background of Ava's life, 'praying' for her, and taking upon herself the job of the Holy Spirit. It is easy to fall into that role, and it was a good reminder for me to put down my judging pen and pick up my grace-filled pen.

There was some weakness in how neatly the end of the story pulls together, but overall I found this book to be a really enjoyable read. Redemption is always a beautiful theme.

I would give it 3 1/2 stars.

*this book was provided for me to review by Booksneeze. the opinions are all my own*

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