Title: The Renewal Midlands Building
Author: Terri Kraus
Rating: Spend the Day Sleepy
This is a wonderful book. The plot was moving and the character were heartwarming. I found myself rooting for them at their biggest points of struggle.
But I had an odd experience with this book. I normally gripe about books that have forced conversions. My complaint was "if I wanted to have a spiritual moment, I'd read my Bible." Most of the time, I read books for escapism or entertainment. I'm not looking to learn spiritual lessons from a fiction book.
But this book touched me in a way that only one other book has, that being Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. I have suffered loss and every writer knows about starting over after failing (and if you don't, give it a few more rejections, you'll find out.) I felt spiritually refreshed after reading this book because it was full of hope.
The realism in this book was superb. Meaning, these were real people with real problems. It wasn't about unrealistic unforgiveness or a hangnail. I am so appreciative of Kraus because she tackled the tough stuff and made it enjoyable to read.
She also scores high marks for subtle biblical themes. She shows characters applying the Word to their situations and gives a picture of how God gradually works in us, not this contrived One-Scripture-Fixes-All occurrence in Christian fiction.
I'm looking forward to reading the rest of her books.