About the Book:
Book: An Unpresentable Glory
Author: Eleanor K. Gustafson
Genre: Christian, contemporary, literary fiction
Release Date: July, 2018
“I trusted you, and some day, you may know just how much you hold in your hands.” Linda Jensen leads a relatively quiet life in Westchester County, New York, as the owner of a highly acclaimed garden. Inherited from her parents, the garden is her pride and joy. It is not so joyful finding a strange man sprawled near her delphiniums! The mysterious man is sick, unable to do anything more than drink water—and beg for secrecy. Ignoring all alarm bells, Linda sees to his needs, but her caring act takes on unexpected significance, and unpresentable glory. Seeds of trust, and perhaps love, are planted in Linda’s garden haven. But as secrets are revealed and scandal hits the headlines, the act of caring for this man threatens to tarnish both of their reputations. Like weeds in Linda’s garden, circumstances threaten to choke out their fledgling relationship, and small moments prove to be the biggest influencers—on a national scale.
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This is the most interesting novel I have read for a while. I liked learning about the complex structure and design of a show garden. I liked learning about Native Americans and the issues they face today. I liked reading about how an investigative reporter can nearly ruin a politician's career.
Gustafson incorporated many Christian lessons in this novel, such as how a male support and discipleship group may work. There was also a strong example of the damage that can be done when Christianity is presented to others in an unloving way. Permeating the novel was the idea of doing a kindness for another that cannot be made public. It is an act that brings glory to God yet must be kept secret, as unpresentable to others.
The romance aspect of the novel was complex and took a long time to resolve. Nonetheless, it was interesting how an immediate and intense love formed and then how the obstacles to it were overcome. This is a good novel for readers who enjoy gardening and like characters committed to pursuing romance God's way.
My rating: 4/5 stars.
About the Author
Ellie grew up in Branchville NJ, in a county with more cows than people. She attended Wheaton College in Illinois as a music major, then married a pastor/college professor/tree farmer/organist and writer. Together, they have three children and eight grandchildren. Music was Ellie’s first love until she tried on the cloak of writing and found it a comfortable fit. However, early writing attempts saw friends—and even her mother—advising her to stick to music as a career. She pushed manfully along, though, and An Unpresentable Glory is her sixth novel. “God first touched me through story,” Ellie says, “and made the bigger Story come alive. I love Him passionately!”
More from Ellie
What’s An Unpresentable Glory about? Here’s Linda’s point of view: Linda Jensen, a noted gardener, finds a stranger sprawled near her delphiniums, obviously ill. She gets him into her house and puts him to bed, deciding that water is the only safe thing to give him. Water in, however, must come out. He is helpless; she must serve him; but in doing this unpresentable task, she feels the presence of angels. [See the book Preface for my personal experience with this.] Jay’s point of view: Jay finds himself ill and helpless on the lawn of a wealthy but caring gardener. He can’t even reveal his real name. When he leaves at week’s end, he sees the relationship as hopeless because of who he is and enormous repercussions if the hidden week comes to light. Tragedy and disaster haunt him, but a dual set of mentors leads him through churning waters. Will he ever get back to the garden? * * * Linda’s sun tea was “mostly Darjeeling with lemon and a sprig of mint.” After reading her description, I tried it and found it tasty, indeed!
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I received a complimentary digital copy of this book through Celebrate Lit. My comments are an independent and honest review. The rest of the copy of this post was provided by Celebrate Lit.