Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Beyond the Storm - by Carolyn Zane

Abigail Durham is an accomplished hairdresser, living in the small town of Rawston in the Midwest.  As she worries about the stress of fixing a food cart for a fundraiser, and chats with her Aunt Selma about quilt ideas, and thinks about the man she danced with last night, a storm is bearing down on the town.  Not just any storm, but an EF5 tornado that will bring unimaginable devastation to the town and community.  As so many have asked before, Abigail will have to ponder where God is during the storms of life as she and her town try to heal.

I put off reading this book for awhile when I saw that it was part of a "quilt" series.  As much as I actually do like to sew, sometimes I find books about sewing to be, shall we say, less than exciting. Once I started it though, I was immediately sucked into the drama of the storm and the lives of the people living through it, and I could not put it down until I finished it.  Even though the plot of the story as it related to quilting became obvious partway through the book, it was a subtle plot line and one that worked well with the story of the need for the community to piece itself back together after such a tragedy.  The characters were rich enough that I felt myself torn between disbelief that every important character could make it through such devastation, and not wanting any of them to be killed off.  I won't lie and say that I didn't cry through the end of this book.

This book was far more enjoyable than I expected.  I give it 4 stars, and will look to read the next books in this series, hoping for more stories that don't shy from the hard questions about God, but rather uses the strength of its characters' faith to draw others to him through the hard questions.  (Note about the series: I see that each of the books in this series is by a different author)

You can find Beyond the Storm for sale HERE.
You can find the author's website HERE.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

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