Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko
Becoming a Christian is the best and worst thing that has ever happened to Sarah Hollenbeck. Best because, well, that’s obvious. Worst because, up to this point, she’s made her very comfortable living as a well-known, bestselling author of steamy romance novels that would leave the members of her new church blushing. Now Sarah is trying to reconcile her past with the future she’s chosen. She’s still under contract with her publisher and on the hook with her enormous fan base for the kind of book she’s not sure she can write anymore. She’s beginning to think that the church might frown on her tithing on royalties from a “scandalous” book. And the fact that she’s falling in love with her pastor doesn’t make things any easier.
With a powerful voice, penetrating insight, and plenty of wit, Bethany Turner explodes onto the scene with a debut that isn’t afraid to deal with the thorny realities of living the Christian life.
Looking for a lighter read with a chick lit feel, with relatable characters? This one might be the key that fits that lock for you. The character grows in her faith throughout the book, but is completely fallible. By this, I mean, she messes up a lot.
However, through everything, I loved the raw, gritty honesty she portrays. The romantic thread between two older unique characters really round out this book, but is not really one that I would recommend for the teen reader. That is not to say it is inappropriate, but it is more topics that would be best understood by those with more maturity.
This book is unique in a world of similar books and I really liked so many things about it. It did not hit every facet of my enjoyment scale, but it came pretty close.
I would say, don’t read this novel if you are looking for dealing with hard issues in a detailed way or realistic romance. But it does get to the heart of a few issues within the church with lighthearted jabs that pack a punch.
You can purchase it on Amazon. “The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck”.
Look for it and find it! I received this book through NetGalley. The opinions contained herein are my own.