Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Sharlene MacLaren's Long Journey Home~Reviewed
Long Journey Home
By Sharlene MacLaren
Published by Whitaker House
After divorcing her abusive husband, single mother Callie May is still nursing the scars of a painful past. The last thing she needs in her life is another man, so she's less than thrilled when a handsome but brooding stranger moves into the apartment across the hall.
Dan Mattson may be attractive, but his circumstances certainly aren't: a former church pastor, he abandoned his flock in Michigan and fled to the Chicago suburbs after the death of his beloved wife and baby daughter in a tragic automobile accident. Embittered by his loss, Dan turns his back on God.
Callie mistrusts men, and the angry Dan often gives her good reason to. Both are weighed down by the scars and disappointment in their pasts. When Callie's ex-husband shows up to wreak more havoc in her life, Dan finds himself coming to her defense - and facing his own demons in the process. Will Dan and Callie be able to get past their baggage and take a chance on love again? Can they come to see life's apparent tragedies as part of God's perfect plan? Can the power of God change their hearts and mend their hurts?
Sharlene MacLaren takes a serious, and sometimes funny look at Callie and Dan's struggles. What happens after a divorce, the death of a dream or having been abused? How do you handle your life when it suddenly falls apart? Dan struggles with his call in life. He wonders what this life is all about - and he's a pastor!! How do you cope with the death of a spouse or child?
Sharlene really tackles these tough questions with an honest approach. I like that about this book. I also liked the fact that she didn't have 'pat' answers, but had both characters really search their souls for answers. MacLaren charges Callie and Dan to answer such pondering questions like 'Why are we here in the first place?', 'What is life about anyway?' and 'Do I believe what I have read in the bible or is it all just a joke?'
This is the first book I have read by this author. I will definitely check out her other books.
Reviewed by: Nora St.Laurent -ACFW Book Club Assistant