Pastor Miles McKenzie returns home from a short-term mission trip to discover that not only does he have an intriguing new tenant living upstairs, he's also been reassigned to a local ministry on life support. Disillusioned and restless, he distracts himself by throwing his energy into a host of new projects--not the least of which is pursuing Val--without stopping to consider the future.
As Val struggles to stop hiding behind the camera and Miles wrestles with shattered expectations, they'll find that authentic love and sacrifice must go hand in hand.
Deese takes readers through an exploration of learning how to understand God's leading when circumstances are puzzling and one is unsure of the future. The main theme of the novel seems to be allowing God to work in life to be able to overcome pain, hurt and debilitation from the past. We are encouraged to work along with God “To take every damaged piece and mold it into something purposeful...good...right...” (134)
The plot is well crafted. The viewpoints do change, all written in first person. Sometimes mid-chapter I would forget from whose viewpoint I was seeing life. The characters were developed rather well. My favorite was Tucker. What a kid!
The book takes place in Spokane (Spoh-can). It's an unusual setting for a novel and I do wish Deese had given us more about the city in eastern Washington State. While a couple of interesting sites were mentioned, I was disappointed when Miles and Val went on a drive and, “three signature Spokane sight seeing drive-bys later...” (152) In a novel this length, those locations certainly could have been identified with a quick description. Readers who may never visit Spokane missed out on getting an idea of the beauty of the city, the river, and the nearby mountain.
This is an engaging story about healing the past and accepting God's design for the present. We see both Val and Miles going through that transition. And it is a good novel showing the life changing impact one person can have on another. Sometimes one kind act of love to another is all that it takes to change a life.
(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)