Thursday, December 20, 2012

A Kingsbury Collection: Three Novels in One

Where Yesterday Lives:
A tragic event shakes the lives of the Barrett family, as the book opens up with a man having a heart attack.  The different families represented must decide whether the miles and years can be erased and if they can regain the love and closeness they had for each other in their youth, now that they are grown and life has separated them. Karen does a wonderful job of bringing this family to life for the reader. You feel like you are in the story every step of the way, fighting with them and your heart breaks with them as well; you can see and feel what they are thinking and going through and you are pulling for them.
Karen takes everyday life and weaves it into these characters. These characters’ lives are not perfect. There is temptation, anger, bitterness, depression, anxiety, self-righteousness, jealousy, hurt and love. All things every family can relate to on some level and in the middle of it all is God’s hand guiding and directing.
I have to admit, this book brought tears to my eyes as I read it because I could relate so well to certain characters and their emotions. It was simply a beautiful read.   

Where Yesterday Lives:
Maggie has repressed the lies of her past until depression brings her to the point of desperation.  How can a Christian be depressed?  How can someone who writes advice for families have her own family in shambles?  Her husband, Ben, has to find out what is wrong with Maggie.  She has checked herself into a psychiatric hospital and refuses any contact with him and is telling him they will divorce and that he has never known her. Their marriage is a lie, their life a lie.  Will he be able to forgive and love her when he finds out the truth?

Karen Kingsbury always probes a nerve with her books.  She is not a “happy ever after” type writer, but is realistic with what actual people face, spiritually, emotionally, and relationally because of decisions’ consequences
 When Joy Came to Stay:
Maggie Stovall seems to have it all together. A great husband, the perfect job, a foster mom, and then one day it all unravels. Karen Kingsbury takes a look into the depths of the foster care system and a little girl, Amanda, who seems to be falling through the cracks, forgotten and mistreated, by all but God.  All the while, Maggie Stovall is living a life behind a mask that is starting to unravel before her eyes and is tearing her life as she knows it apart.  Her husband, Ben, doesn’t even realize it, until Maggie checks herself into a psychiatric hospital, for delusions and depression, refusing to see or talk to her husband. During this time, her husband must begin to dig into the past of his wife to find out who she really is to try and save her life and their marriage. The question remains, what will he do with this information?
I cried all the way through this book. I do not normally get wrapped up in book and get emotional about them, but his book struck a chord in my heart. Karen takes on the serious topics of some of the nightmares of the foster care system, adoption, prayer, child abuse and depression in a Christian’s life. All the while showing us in all circumstances God is in control. Beautifully written, this story grabs your attention from the beginning and does not let go. Through God and in God all things are possible!
On Every Side:
After suffering the loss of his mother and separation from his sister and the girl he loved, Jordan Riley has filled the holes in his soul with anger. He decides to reject the God he leaned on in his youth and sues his hometown to have a popular statue of Jesus removed. The conflict causes him to cross paths with a spirited young newscaster named Faith, who opposes Jordan's suit in surprising ways. Perhaps most amazing of all is the way Faith begins to disassemble the walls around Jordan's heart. And there's something very familiar about her...”
The issue of separation of church and state comes into play in this book regarding a Jesus statue that had been in the town park for years. Although the issues at hand are from a real case that happened in Marshfield, Wisconsin, the story is not an accurate depiction of those events, nor was it intended to be. In the course of this story, two families must come together and determine how they will deal with past events. Jordan, Heidi and Faith will learn that God has a purpose – even when we do not understand it. One fascinating little tidbit about this book were the characters’ names:  Bob Moses, Joshua Nunn, Faith, Jordan, and the park in town where the well-loved but suddenly controversial Jesus statue was located—Jericho Park!  These names made the book fun to read because the characters got inspiration from the book of the Bible, Joshua. Also, this book seemed to deal with the gaps in the foster care system as well, which I found interesting too.
Review:

All three books seemed to have a central theme: How much do we risk in order to defend our faith? What really is most important to us? And do we really believe that God can intervene in political situations, in people’s lives, because of our prayers? And does God speak to us in tangible ways?

I would highly recommend A Kingsbury Collection. The author’s book shows faith, love, and hope, and reminds us that there is hope amidst what seems to be hopeless situations. Her books will make you think about your commitments, family, friends, children, love and marriage.
I give the book, and the Author 5 stars and highly recommend reading A Kingsbury Collection.
"I received a free copy of this book from Multnomah through Blogging for Books.The opinions stated are my own, honest views. I was not compensated in any other way, nor was I paid for my review.”
 
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