Tuesday, November 01, 2011
Beth Webb Hart's Sunrise on the Battery ~ Review
Sunrise on the Battery
Beth Webb Hart
List Price: $15.99
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (October 11, 2011)
She wanted her husband to attend the town’s society-driven church.
God answered her prayer in a radical way.
An emptiness dogs Mary Lynn Scoville. But it shouldn’t. After all, she’s achieved what few believed possible. Born in the rural south, she has reached the pinnacle of worldly success in Charleston, South Carolina. Married to a handsome real estate developer and mother to three accomplished daughters, Mary Lynn is one Debutante Society invitation away from truly having it all. And yet, it remains—an emptiness that no shopping trip, European vacation, or social calendar can fill.
When a surprise encounter leads her to newfound faith, Mary Lynn longs to share it with her husband. But Jackson wrote God off long ago. Mary Lynn prays for him on Christmas Eve...and her husband undergoes a life-altering, Damascus Road experience. As Jackson begins to take the implications of the Gospel literally, Mary Lynn feels increasingly isolated from her husband...and betrayed by God. She only wanted Jackson beside her at church on Sunday mornings, not some Jesus freak who evangelizes prostitutes and invites the homeless to tea.
While her husband commits social suicide and the life they worked so hard for crumbles around them, Mary Lynn wonders if their marriage can survive. Or if perhaps there really is a more abundant life that Jackson has discovered, richer than any she’s ever dreamed of.
I've known Southern families like the ones described in this story - families with "old" money who had a culture all of their own. I've know people who tried to fit into that "world" with hard work and the success that followed - trying to make things "better" for the kids - and the mayhem that often followed. And I've known folks who have been radically transformed from the bondage of the care of the world through the blood of Christ. In short, I identified strongly with all of the characters in this story. I understood their fear, their longing to fit in, their longing to be accepted for who they were - the longing to be accepted by Christ.
This is a multi-layered story. Read beneath the surface and be prepared to be challenged by what you find there. This is a story that will touch your heart and challenge you to examine your spiritual motives. Great read!
Reviewed by: Kim Ford
Sunrise on the Battery is about a wealthy, up and coming young family trying to make a name for themselves in the Old Society in Charleston, South Carolina. Jackson and Mary Lynn Scoville come from “poor” beginnings, but through good investments and knowing the right people, become very wealthy, with a goal to provide all that money can buy for their children. In the meantime, they lose sight of what’s important, as Jackson pushes his children towards perfection. Mary Lynn senses an emptiness in her life that she feels can be filled by the Lord, but Jackson’s disinterest in anything with God makes things difficult, so she begins to pray for him. Suddenly, Jackson takes an interest and does a complete 180 degree turn when he finds the truth and gives his life to Christ. However, his over-zealous lifestyle change threatens to affect everything they’ve worked towards, including their acceptance into the Charleston High Society.
It took me a bit to get into this book, but I really enjoyed it. It showed, in Mary Lynn, how many folks take an interest in spiritual things, but when the challenge comes to decide what’s more important, God’s opinion or people’s opinion, those that aren’t truly committed to Christ are brought to light. Jackson didn’t care what society thought once he realized what was really important. His heart was in serving the Lord and he had a deep concern for the spiritual state of everyone he came across. It was wonderful to see the spiritual growth in the characters.
Reviewed by: Sarah Porter