I hate when I read books out of order, but when I finished Justified last night, I was totally enthralled. I will go back and read the first book in the series. Varina Denman has enthralled me with Justified, and now I MUST go read Jaded when I get a chance.
So we have a young lady who has done things not quite in order--she's pregnant and not quite married. It's not that the father of her baby doesn't want to marry her, he does. It's that he's too much like her father and a bit too handy to hit or slap her. Fawn Blaylock's family threw her out of the house when she turned up pregnant and it was the best thing that happened to her. She found her feet, she found her strength, and she found someone to love. She's had to wade through rattlesnakes, the ex-boyfriend turning stalker, giving birth in a Texas dust storm, standing up to her father, and finding out the man she thought to be her father really wasn't. Those are just some of the things that happened, the others include being the object of gossip in church, finding a job to support herself, going to school to finish a degree, finding out what a true friend is, finding out what true love is, and getting past some of the hurts incurred in her life.
I have looked briefly at Varina's blog and see that she has encountered hurt within her church, and she knows she's not the only one. She has this in common with a lot of people who are not very vocal about their pained hearts because of the church. That she has woven so tenderly and seamlessly into this novel the fact that Christians are notorious for shooting their own wounded makes her a definite must-read. Real-life is well described through Varina's fiction--people seeing what they want to see, people being what they think others want them to be, people with misplaced desires and loyalties, and people falsely accused of things they didn't do.
What we want is to find acceptance from the others around us, but what we need is only the acceptance God gives. It's hard to overlook things that happen to us in the realm of the church without becoming embittered by them. It's hard to let those things go, especially the guilt from our own sins. And yet at the same time, we will overlook our own sins to point the finger at someone else's sins. We are a scurvy lot.
Five Stars, Two Thumbs Up, and a cup of Fawn's iced coffee
My thanks to David C Cook for allowing me to read and review this book. It was well worth the time spent.