PUBLICATION DATE: OCTOBER 01, 2012
t’s so strange that I’m reviewing a book that includes the story of a male stripper in a faith-based story when Facebook is full of posts encouraging Christian women not to see the latest and hottest movie out, about a male stripper. Bob Ray is just one of many characters of Beyond the Storm. I was encouraged as I read his story, because it reminded me that there are so many people, forced into situations, doing things they don’t want to do, simply because they have no other options. Just because someone has a job that is questionable, doesn’t mean that God has forgotten about them. Let’s face it….He uses the lowest to bring about salvation (Rahab the prostitute…a grandmother of Jesus).
In the book, a storm is coming. All through the first part of the story, there is a count-down with “radio programming” breaking in with updates. It’s a neat way to keep the story moving, plus the radio commercials link to the businesses mentioned in the story and their owners and give an easy transition back and forth between scenes. There’s the lumber company, the salons, the quilt shop…and all the people connected with them. As I was reading these “forecasts”, I wondered if they were talking about the weather or the approaching confrontation between our main characters, Abigail and Justin, which hits about the same time as the storm!
It’s fast paced and gut-wrenching. While I was reading, I kept looking outside to see if it was actually raining and if I needed to take shelter! I couldn’t stop reading and I cried, not just little tears, I sobbed. It is not a “feel-good” story for the most part, but it is an eye opening, heart pounding, and beautifully written story.
This is a story about what happens when a storm, hits, devastates, shatters, and destroys. It’s about questioning God in those moments, seeing how some people grow stronger in their faith, some return to their faith, and some question it. And there’s a love story, laughter, and light in the darkness after the storm hits.
And let’s not forget…there is a quilt, since it is book 1 of a Quilts of Love series. Much like the quilt’s ragged pieces before the quilter takes a stitch; lives found torn and scattered are brought together and sewn together for a new purpose by the true Creator. That part of the story was done really well and does a really good job of explaining why God allows bad things to happen.
Beyond the Storm is a great story and it touched my heart in more ways than I ever expected and honestly, it helped me with some “storms” I’m going through.