Friday, March 23, 2012

Stand By Me by Neta Jackson

He saga of the Yada Yada group continues. This story centers around Avis, an African-American principal of an elementary school in Chicago and her software entrepreneur (second) husband, Peter. Avis has been involved in the Yada Yada Prayer Group since its inception. She and her husband are active in a multi-ethnic church, Avis frequently leading worship. Avis is a pretty polished woman except lately she has been worrying about her estranged daughter, Rochelle, and grandson.
Into the picture comes four white students from a nearby Christian college. The most gregarious is Kat (Kathryn), an ecologically conscious education student. She is the only Christian in her family, recently being saved at a Christian concert. The students begin attending Avis's church, clashing a bit with the differences in culture.
When the students find summer residence in the same building in which Avis and Peter live, tensions increase. Kat meets Avis's estranged daughter while “dumpster diving.” Kat wants to set things right, not only in the world in general, but in Avis's family specifically.

This is not an action packed, fast paced novel. Instead, it covers the daily struggles Christians go through, finding their way in God's plan. Should Avis and Peter respond to the call to help missionary friends in Africa? Should they stay in Chicago and help out in their church when one of the pastors suddenly dies? How can Avis deal with the well-meaning but irritating Kat? And Kat, how does she deal with her parents who just don't understand her? How does she handle their lack of communication with her? Do they really love her?

This book is a pleasant read. I wouldn't consider it a page turner, but you will become attached to the characters as they make their way through life.

Neta Jackson is the author of the award winning Yada books. She and her husband, Dave, have written the Trailblazer books and Hero Tales for youth. They live in the Chicago area, where the Yada books are set.

Thomas Nelson Publishers, 400 pages.

I received an egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review. The opinions expressed are my own.
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