Tuesday, October 10, 2006

The Prophet & Good Hope Road

I went in to work today expecting to give a tour and get some paperwork done. I was so nervous about the tour that I actually had nightmares about it last night. When I got to work, I found that the tour was cancelled, and the woman I share my desk with needed it today, so I was home a half hour after I went in. It's a relief for a few days, but I need to reschedule the tour so I can start stressing about it all over again.

The new house is coming along well. Paint on the bedroom walls, new flooring in the bathroom and kitchen. I can't wait to move in. I wish there was a way to just wave a wand or say a magic word and transfer all of our belongings over there and in proper places without sorting them, boxing them up, moving them to the new place, then unboxing and sorting all over again. I have a feeling I'm not the first one to share that idea!

The Prophet by Francine Rivers is the fourth book in the Sons of Encouragement series and features the story of Amos, the Old Testament prophet. I don’t know much about Amos’ history, so I’m unsure of how much is fiction within this book, but the story follows Amos from shepherd in hills of Judah to condemning prophet in the kingdom of Israel and back to shepherd. Amos suffers much from being a prophet: beatings, hunger, even his brothers turn their backs on him. I’ve read the other books in the series, and I was a little disappointed in this one. The beginning of the book with Amos as a shepherd shines. Reading about his loving care for his sheep gave me new understanding of Jesus as my shepherd, and I was deeply moved. But the radical transformation to wild-eyed prophet wasn’t handled as well. I kept waiting to connect with Amos the Prophet the way I had with Amos the Shepherd, but the connection never happened.

Good Hope Road by Lisa Wingate is her strongest book to date. After the entire town of Poetry, Missouri is destroyed by a tornado, the people within it are changed to their cores as well. Jenilee Lane has lived her entire life ducking blows and trying to stay unnoticed. Eudora Gibson, her elderly neighbor, suffers from a bad case of judging others until Jenilee saves her life. The entwining stories of Jenilee and Eudora are woven together until as one strong cord, both women pull themselves out of their former selves and find a better future. Jenilee’s idea to pick up all the photos and papers she finds on the road, in her yard and fields and try to return them to the townspeople who have lost so much is moving, especially after how she’s been treated by them throughout her life. Wingate captures the essence of a family caught in the cycle of abuse and trying to break free. The scenes between Jenilee and her brothers are especially poignant. The dialogue is extremely well done. This book is peopled with characters that everyone in a small town knows, and after finishing the book will be sorry to leave.

More reviews tomorrow! I'm still getting caught up on typing them all up, but they are coming!