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Thursday, January 12, 2012

My review of Coming Home by Stacy Hawkins Adams

About the book:

Brent had cheated on Dayna and coldly said goodbye to her seven long years ago---dashing her hopes of having children or growing old with the love of her life. Working hard to make herself successful as a hospital executive, Dayna has moved on, finding comfort in a new dating relationship with a faith-filled colleague, Warren.

But when Brent resurfaces on her doorstep at just the wrong time, Dayna's heart threatens to come unglued. Why is Brent asking for forgiveness now? And why are he and his new wife, Tamara, interested in reconciliation with Dayna? The unbelievable answers in Coming Home begin to surface as Brent boldly asks Dayna to support him at the most crucial time of his life.

While Tamara's heart brims with guilt, both women will discover what it means to reach beyond pain and baggage to love unconditionally, leaving the consequences to God.

My review:

Coming Home is a deeply spiritual and emotionally healing novel penned by one of my favorite Women's fiction authors. The title of this book fits the themes in the story, which really made me, as a reader, think. The author's greatest strength as a novelist is her ability to dig deep and pull out universal truths while examining them through her characters' lives. I learned a lot from seeing the world through Dayna and Tamara's perspectives. Their situations were personally challenging and oh-so-true to life. How the author showed through this story that our upbringing often influences our present situation was also well done and insightful. I adore books that make me think about my own heart and my walk with God. Coming Home delivers on all accounts.

As far as heroes go, I adored Warren, but I also understood Brent. Warren really was a perfect match for Dayna in a number of ways. I loved how the author made their relationship and normal conflicts so realistic. Nothing was watered down, but at the same time, the author didn't go over the top with any of the scenarios she presented. I totally understood Dayna's insecurities and her feeling of divided loyalties between her current relationship and the past. I also felt her sense of betrayal when she found out everything wasn't what she first believed regarding her best friend.

More than that, I loved how the author skillfully developed several perspectives which showed how people often do things because of how it makes them look, or how it makes them feel, without considering the consequences to others. One powerful example was how Dayna in her own subtle way found her ex's sudden need for her poetic justice. Another was how she showed Dayna's ex's need to express his emotions and regret to Dayna had actually put a wedge between him and his current wife. These scenarios were complex, but skillfully delivered.

If you are looking for a deep read that provides spiritual insight and heart-wrenching, believable conflict, this author delivers a solid story every time. I always finish her novels feeling inspired to love God more and to draw closer to the people I love around me. That's great writing.

Coming Home is published by Zondervan and will release in March 2012.

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