It seem like most Christian fiction is historical romance. So, I'm always looking for books that aren't. I found a new one to read recently by Alison Strobel.
In The Heart of Memory, Alison Strobel tells the story of Christian speaker Savannah Trover. Savannah finds herself in ill health after a tour of speaking engagements. She needs a heart transplant. After receiving her new heart, her relationship with God is different. She feels deep anger towards God. This story is the story of her journey and the journey of her family through this trial.
I'd liken this book to a drama made-for-television film. It's not a feature film, but rather the kind of story you might find on the Gospel Music Channel. It's a good story--well written, good character development, realistic ending (not all neatly tied in a bow), and ultimately an encouraging book. This is one of those books that will make you remember that no one's perfect. Though it's fiction, it reminded me that no one has it altogether.
There were two things that I particularly liked about this book.
First, this book made me pause to reflect on my own life. It's about a woman who has good intentions--to speak, write, and encourage other women. But in the process, her daughter pays a high price, as does her marriage and her husband. As a mom of 3 young children, it's easy for me at times to want to escape the dirty work of being a mom--all the hard work that has to be done day in and day out. I get really tired at times. It's nice to get affirmation from others and feel like I'm doing something for someone else when I help them. I realized that though there are many things I want to do right now, I feel strongly that my children need me to teach them and spend time with them.
Secondly, I think there was a very important message woven into this story. I think this quote says it well from pg.256 "What was more important was the lesson that emotion and experience didn't always tell the truth." In our culture today, there is a heavy weight being placed on experience--it is as if experience trumps the Truth. The message we hear often is "if we don't feel or experience it, then it must not be true." This is a dangerous thing to believe, because then if we don't "feel" God, then He must not be there or must not be real. And that's a lie. A very big dangerous lie. God is always there whether we feel Him or not. He says so in His Word. He is who He says He is.
I recommend this book. I liked it. I didn't love it, but I did like it. It may strike a chord with you as it did with me.
Please note that I received a complimentary copy of this book for review from Zondervan.