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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

My review of Healing Stones by Nancy Rue and Stephen Arterburn.


With one flash of a camera, Demi's private life becomes public news. She doesn't know it yet, but her healing has just begun.

Christian college professor Demitria Costanas had vowed to end her affair with a colleague. But she gives into temptation one last time...and a lurking photographer captures her weakness for all to see. Quite literally, she's the woman caught in adultery. And almost everyone--herself included--has a stone to throw.

Enter Sullivan Crisp, a decidedly unorthodox psychologist with his own baggage. He's well-known for his quirky sense of humor and incorporation of "game show" theology into his counseling sessions. And yet there's something more he offers...hope for a fresh start.

Reluctantly the two of them begin an uplifting, uneven journey filled with healing and grace. By turns funny and touching, this story explores the ways humans hurt each other and deceive themselves. And it shows the endlessly creative means God uses to turn stones of accusation and shame into works of beauty that lead us onto the path of healing.

An auspicious debut for a candid yet tender series about pain, healing, and God's invitation for second chances.

My review:

I'd never heard of this book before it landed in my mailbox, but I've loved every book I've read that was written by Nancy Rue because she usually writes pretty edgy stuff. I started reading this novel for the blog tour and I was not disappointed. I literally couldn't put it down. It captivated me from the first page! I stayed up late at night reading it and took it with me to read every chance I got. The characters were rich and the emotions were real. The story within the story, about the therapist Dr. Sullivan Crisp, was impressively heartbreaking and emotionally moving. I was totally caught up in the emotion and the trauma in the characters' lives. I cried several times. And the ending was so powerful it left me speechless.

The authors did a fantastic job at torturing their characters, but better than that, they did an incredible job of showing you the healing that took place in their lives. That is not easy to do, not like creating the pain is, anyway. You--the reader--see the benefits of not running from the pain and of learning to understand yourself and your own heart so you can truly be vulnerable and love others. Forgiveness is a strong theme in this book. So is spiritual pharisee-ism and judgmental attitudes and the pain they cause. I gained so much insight into my own life through the spiritual struggles of the characters that I can't recommend this novel highly enough. I loved it!

Healing Stones
was published by Thomas Nelson and was released January 1, 2008.

1 comment:

Melanie said...

I'm also a member of ACFW, though still an "apprentice." I finished "Healing Stones" just moments ago and am still struggling my way to reality again.

This is the reason I want to write. To create characters who fail, who hurt, who live, who aren't puppets, who question, who learn and thrive.

Rue and Arterburn almost make me want to turn over the premise for my novel and say, "Here, see what you can do with this." I say almost. Really, if I thought it was their story to tell, or if that giving it to them would help it get told, I'd do it in a heartbeat.

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