Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Nancy Jo Jenkins' Coldwater Revival ~ Reviewed

Coldwater Revival
By Nancy Jo Jenkins
Published by River Oak
ISBN: 1589190610

One of Emma Grace Falin's six-year-old twin brothers falls into a well and dies while in her care. She begins a journey that takes her through the dark valley of guilt, sorrow, depression, and anger at God. But through her ordeal you see the hand of God at work. Although she rejects Him, God brings restoration and healing into her troubled life. Gain a better understanding of God's mercy, as he compassionately guides the lives of Emma Grace and her family during their desperate period of grief and despair.

This story was so gripping it's hard to for me to express my feelings adequately, but I'll give it a shot. The flow of words and beautiful similes and metaphors reminded me of Secret Life of Bees, only this story really blessed me whereas I found Sue Monk Kidd's book depressing.

I have to admit that when the heroine in Coldwater Revival, Emma Grace, reflected on her childhood tragedy when she fell asleep during the storm, the feelings I experienced were so intense I had to set the book down for a few days for an emotional breather. But I couldn't hold out long and had to go back to it because the story was well worth finishing even if it did nearly rip my heartstrings to shreds at certain points.

The closest I've felt (to compare the strong emotion I experienced) was when I'd read the Scottish series by Liz Curtiss Higgs. Though at the outset I never would've thought this story had a romantic element, not only did the growing love between the heroine and hero in Coldwater Revival impress me, but I dare say that in many ways this story had one of the strongest romantic elements of any I've ever read.

This daring debut novel had me holding my breath and sighing with relief as I read along, enjoying every page. My heart pounded along with the heroines right through to the end. Wonderful story, and extremely well-written, with the best use of similes I've ever experienced in fiction. I highly recommend this book! It has so much meat and emotion in it, and the best part was that not one time did I feel that a scene was forced or contrived.

Nor did any of the spiritual elements feel preachy or like the author struggled to write that piece into the novel. Everything flowed from characters who seemed like real people to me. In fact, reading this story was like slipping into another time and place. I could picture everything in my mind.

Reviewed by Michelle Sutton (pen name)
Writing truth into fiction...digging deeper, soaring higher Great Beginnings finalist 2005
Writer/fiction reviewer

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