Friday, October 29, 2010
Vanessa Miller's Long Time Coming ~ Reviewed
LONG TIME COMING
By Vanessa Miller
Published by Abingdon Press
Faithful Christian Deidre Clark-Morris is a professional career-minded woman with a loving husband and beautiful home, but no children. Kenisha Smalls has lived in poverty her entire life and has three children by three different men. After learning that Kenisha has inoperable cervical cancer, the relationship between these two women becomes a catalyst of hope, leading them both to a place of redemption and healing.
I’m thankful to have received a review copy of this bitter-sweet novel which reminded me of the Good Samaritan bible story. It’s also a book filled with the message of forgiveness, sacrifice and God’s love for us and others. The author quickly captures the readers’ attention and heart, while setting the tone of the novel from the beginning. “Twenty-three and played out. Like the words of a tired, old, blues song, Kenisha Smalls had been strung and rung out….and too young to give up.”
Deidre had a run in with Kenisha at the school she worked at when she was late to pick up her son. Deidre threatened to call social services. Deidre hated to see parents mistreat their children. They took them for granted and didn’t realize the precious gift they had. Kenisha clams up, Deidre has judged her and soon realizes that this woman wouldn’t believe the truth if she told it to her.
Deidre and her husband had tried for years to have children, but after seven years God had not blessed her womb. Was God punishing her? Deidre had a secret not even her husband, Johnson a military man who worked hard and loved the Lord, knew about. Could she tell her husband what she hid in her heart? Is that what God wanted?
Miller does a great job of setting the mood and placing readers into the skin of her characters:
Jumping in the shower, she allowed the hot water to assault her weary bones. As the steam filled the small bathroom, she wallowed in the horror story her life had become. What next? How much can happen to a person before the almighty decides it’s time to pick on someone else?
That’s how Kenisha sees God. He hadn’t been there for her when all the bad things happened, and He isn’t there now.
Deidre feels drawn to this woman and her family,”She had certainly learned that some of life’s journeys were simply too great for her, and she needed to lean on the Lord to get through them. Just as God had sent an angel to strengthen Elijah, Deirdre knew that her husband Johnson had been her angel, sent from heaven above. He had helped her move past the pain, and now she wanted to do the same for Kenisha.”
Deidre and Kenisha are the most unlikely people to become friends. It’s made possible after Deidre apologizes for judging her and wants to be there for her. Deidre says, “We all suffer from something, Kenisha. That’s a part of life-since evil has come into the world, God has no choice but to let things play out, so we can choose good over evil!...So, accepting good over evil is more like accepting God into your heart.” That was the first step.
I enjoyed the journey this novel took me on even though it had a predictable ending. There were many gold nuggets and fun moments along the way. I look forward to reading more of Vanessa Millers’ books.
Reviewed by: Nora St.Laurent
The Book Club Network