Monday, October 30, 2017

Beauty From Ashes by Alana Terry

I have read a number of novels by Terry that I have enjoyed a great deal. I did not enjoy this novel. I was not surprised to find out it was a revamp of her first novel she wrote but never published. Knowing that, as well as finding out that she began this novel after her son had a birth event similar to the one in this novel, made me want to be gracious in my review.

This novel is in the first person and is mostly the thoughts of a young and very troubled mother and wife. Tiff's daughter had a brain bleed shortly after birth. Many complications continue. Tiff and her husband spend days and weeks with their daughter in the hospital. Add an arrogant mother-in-law and Tiff has much over which to have troubled thoughts.

As usual, Terry covers many issues in the novel. Relationships are a big one. There is the immature marriage relationship between Tiff and Jake. The baby was conceived and born before they married and Tiff wonders if God is punishing her. So another relationship issue is that between Tiff and God. There is also the mother-in-law relationship. Other issues include prophetic words spoken in a church service. Also of concern is whether God still heals or will heal today.

Most of the novel was very depressing to me. I've never had a child and Tiff's ongoing, repetitive, and negative thoughts were a bit much for me. I also felt the novel was too long. I think about a hundred fewer pages, taking out some of the repetitive events, would have made the novel more readable for me.

There is a redeeming factor at the end of the novel. I am unsure of its impact as it was right at the end and we do not get a chance to see how it all works out.

This novel would be a good one for those who enjoy reading the troubled thoughts of a character as she struggles with guilt and relationships. There is a strong Christian message at the end but for most of the novel there is no real spiritual impact on the characters.

While I did not enjoy this novel, I have thoroughly enjoyed others from this author. Do not let this review hinder you from reading this author's other fine works.

My rating: 3/5 stars.

Alana Terry is a pastor's wife and homeschooling mom. Her novels have won several awards. She and her family live in rural Alaska. You can find out more at

Firstfruits Publishing, 396 pages.

I received a complimentary digital copy of this book from the author. My comments are an independent and honest review.

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