Saturday, December 31, 2016
Of Stillness And Storm
I was lucky enough to receive an Advance Reader's Copy of Michele Phoenix's new novel, Of Stillness And Storm. The premise of the novel sounded fresh and new - I read a LOT of books, and often times it's the same plots recycled over and over. I still enjoy them, but when I see something that looks especially out of the ordinary, it makes me even more excited to read it. Of Stillness And Storm takes place in Nepal and focuses on missionaries Lauren and Sam, along with their son Ryan. It's told in the first person view of Lauren, who's struggling with the realities of their life and mission in Nepal. The back cover reads:
"“I felt torn between two worlds. Each with its own mystery. One more captivating than the other, but the other more real and breathing.”
It took Lauren and her husband ten years to achieve their dream—reaching primitive tribes in remote regions of Nepal. But while Sam treks into the Himalayas for weeks at a time, finding passion and purpose in his work among the needy, Lauren and Ryan stay behind, their daily reality more taxing than inspiring. For them, what started as a calling begins to feel like the family’s undoing.
At the peak of her isolation and disillusion, a friend from Lauren’s past enters her life again. But as her communication with Aidan intensifies, so does the tension of coping with the present while reengaging with the past. It’s thirteen-year-old Ryan who most keenly bears the brunt of her distraction.
Intimate and bold, Of Stillness and Storm weaves profound dilemmas into a tale of troubled love and honorable intentions gone awry.
Publisher's Weekly - In this fine novel, Phoenix (Tangled Ashes) realistically captures the deep struggles enveloping a missionary family.
RT Book Reviews - Phoenix’s latest takes a thoughtful and realistic look at the hardships missionaries endure and the strain that missionary work can place on a family. This book should be required reading for every wife and husband in the mission field who is trying to do God’s work. Readers will run through a gamut of emotions while reading this book as it addresses hard questions about priorities and what God asks of us. Readers will be able to relate to the main character; she’s likeable, real and her struggles are genuine. This is a book that will take a reader out of their comfort zone but will also leave readers with thought-provoking questions long after reading. Well done!"
This may be a Christian novel about a missionary family in Nepal, but leave any preconceived notions about what type this book might be behind. Starting with lyrical, haunting prose from the very first page, I was absolutely hooked and couldn't put it down. This is a bold and dynamic tale with themes of love, loss, betrayal, longing, and more. I was immediately swept up and immersed in Lauren's world - this is one of the most atmospheric books I've read lately. I love Christian books that tackle subjects that are hard and difficult and that others shy away from, and Of Stillness And Storm definitely fit the bill. I highly, highly recommend this book.
I received a copy of this book from Litfuse in order to provide an honest and unbiased review. All opinions are my own.