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Saturday, July 06, 2013

My review of Lighten Up by Angela Ruth Strong

About the book:

Bethany Light is the daughter of a minister who can't forgive her father for running off with the church secretary. She goes to her own pastor for counsel, never expecting to fall in love with him. To make matters worse, she's personal training his fiancé in preparation for the big day and somehow ends up in their wedding. Refusing to make the same mistake her dad made, Bethany tries to focus on fixing her family rather than face her own issues. How could a household that used to have it all together have fallen so far from grace? And how can she keep from following in her father's footsteps when it feels so right?

My review:

I really, really, really enjoyed this story. It was packed with realistic emotional tension, real-life drama, and spiritual truths that kept me pondering things for quite some time. Yes, the heart is deceitful and wicked above all things. Who can know it?

I loved being in Bethany's head for the entire story. She learned so many things about herself. I recently had similar insights. It's funny how we don't realize sometimes how selfish our thoughts are until we read similar thoughts in a book. Anyway, Bethany was a lovable character. She had reasons to feel hurt and betrayed. But at the same time, she needed to learn forgiveness. I loved the interaction at Christmas and the scene where she overheard Eric talking to his mother. I hurt for her.

Bethany got so many mixed messages from Eric I could totally see how her fantasy evolved. I started to believe it myself, making the story more compelling than ever. Sometimes doing the right thing is the hardest road to take. I loved this story for pointing that out and I loved how Bethany discovered she wasn't the only person dealing with emotional pain.

I have to say I wasn't very fond of Babbling Brooke, but then again, I was in Bethany's head for the story, so that made sense. In truth, sometimes our heartache spreads like an incurable disease. There are lasting ramifications to everything we do. We need to take responsibility for the things we can control. Those are our actions and how we respond to situations. We make choices every day, some good and some bad.

More than that, we need to try and discover what God is trying to teach us in every situation, even the unpleasant ones. I loved that insight Bethany learned from Eric. For those thoughts motivate our choices and the consequences we have to live with even if we never figure the "whys" out.

Lighten Up was published by Endurance Press and released in Nov. 2012.

1 comment:

Chris said...


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