Friday, May 12, 2006
Sally John's Castles in the Sand~Reviewed
Castles in the Sand
By Sally John
Published by Harvest House, July, 2006
When Susan and Drake Starr discover their twenty-year-old daughter Kenzie is pregnant, their lives are turned upside down. The news sends Drake, a pastor of a huge San Diego church, reeling—and he sends Kenzie packing. Susan finds herself caught in the middle. Does loving Drake mean cutting ties wither only child? What will this path mean for her daughter? For herself? When Susan seeks the refuge of a beach house, a secret from her past resurfaces.
Sally John delivers the perfect sequel to The Beach House in this captivating story. When I first read the description, I thought I wasn't ready for another emotional, gut-wrenching tale. But John's style and gripping characters pulled me in from the first sentence. I couldn't put it down. The cliché about characters walking off the page and into your heart is a truly apt statement in this case.
I compare Castles in the Sand to And the Shofar Blew. It's that good. Sally John has penned a memorable story of an imperfect pastor and his flawed wife making life changing mistakes, yet experiencing forgiveness and redemption—coupled with a message to allow our pastors and their families to be real. Too often the church expects its leaders to be so far above reproach, we cripple them emotionally, leaving them unable to admit even the smallest sin.
And when I turned the last page, I sighed. The book has a very satisfying end, but I didn't want it to be over. Like after a great movie, I sat for a while with the book in my lap, reviewing the characters and their lives in my mind. They had become friends.
Castles in the Sand is a riveting novel of God's mercy when our very foundations crumble, and in this reviewer's opinion, destined to be an award-winning book. I read the galley, but will purchase the book to keep in my library to be re-read and shared and loved. I also plan to give one to my pastor and his wife to read.
Sally John has earned a permanent place as a favorite author of mine.
Reviewed by Ane Mulligan