This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
Beyond the Storm
Abingdon Press (October 2012)
Author of 35 books, wife, mother and yes…hot (flasher) lives with her fabulous husband, Matt and their 5 children and 3 dogs in the scenic Willamette Valley in Oregon. When asked to describe her family, Carolyn likens her crowd to the
Brangelia Bunch saying modestly, “Only we’re better looking.” Right now,Carolyn is back in the saddle with her new title: Beyond The Storm, coming out in October 2012! In the mean time, be sure to catch her on the critically acclaimed TOOHOTMAMAS Blog where Carolyn and Wendy tackle Marriage, motherhood and menopause: How to do all three and stay out of prison! They are hilarious! You’ll wet yourself, guaranteed! Visit them at: www.toohotmamas.wordpress.com.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
After a tornado rips through her town, salon owner Abigail comes across a piece of fabric from a wedding dress in the rubble. Abigail is moved to start collecting other swatches of fabric she finds—her neighbor’s kitchen curtains, a man’s necktie, a dog’s bed—and stashes them in shopping bags. As she pursues her seemingly absurd quest, horrible realities spark the question, “What kind of a God would allow such tragedy?”
As she struggles to reconcile her right to happiness in light of the destruction, Abigail helps piece together a patchwork quilt from the salvaged fabric in the hope that it will bring some peace. But a new relationship with Justin, a contractor, may require too much of her fragile heart. Will her pain and questions of faith give way to the courage to love?
As far as I am aware, I have never read one of Carolyn Zane’s books. After having the opportunity to read and review Beyond the Storm, I will happily read more of her books in the future. Broken down into three main sections – before, during, and after the storm, this novel almost made me feel as if I were right there experiencing the storm with its characters. The characters are so well developed that they seemed like friends by the end of the book.
Although I have never experienced a direct tornado, I am in an area that has its share of warnings and I have seen more than one funnel cloud that came way too close. We also live close enough to have witnessed the aftermath of more than one tornado in our general area. I thought the author did a remarkable job of describing what it must be like to go through such a horrendous experience.
The romance between Abigail and Justin seemed natural although it developed quickly. It was a good example of how tragedy can often reveal the true inner person and also how shared disaster can bring people closer together. Abigail’s Aunt Selma was a pivotal character who loved, encouraged, and guided many of the other characters to make the right choices for their lives. I loved the way that the disaster brought out the best in people who came together to help their neighbors and to rebuild their town.
Beyond the Storm is a suspense-filled story that has just enough levity to keep it from becoming too heavy. It also contains a timely lesson for those of us who question why God allows tragedy in the lives of those who love and follow Him.