Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Karen Kingsbury


Reading this collection was my first time reading Karen Kingsbury’s Inspirational fiction, and I have to say I’m already hooked. In this collection Karen takes on subjects such death, depression, adoption, foster care, family, etc. This collection consists of 3 novels: Where Yesterday Lives, When Joy came to stay, and On Every Side.

Where Yesterday Lives

The story line opens with John Barrett  found having a heart attack. He has not been healthy for years, addressing a stream of surgeries. Barrett dies as a result, which brings the family together. They haven't been close in years, each suffering their personal turmoil. It wasn't until the funeral when each of the sibling got a chance to speak about their father; they could see that he wanted them to be a family. The book is really centered around the life of journalist Ellen Barrett, but Kingsbury finds a way to journey and entwine the lives of her siblings: Jane, Amy, Megan, and Aaron. This story was a good reminder of the old saying; You don't know where you're going until you know where you've been. Grounded in good spirituality, this book is a must read.

When Joy Came To Stay

 I really love the suspense of this story. 
The protagonist in this story is a young woman in her twenties, Maggie Stovall, who is a journalist for the Cleveland Gazette newspaper. Maggie appears to really have it pulled together. She is married to the love of her life, Ben Stovall. Ben is a successful lawyer at a law firm. They are portrayed as having high christian morals. Since they couldn't have any children of their own, they became foster parents to Casey and Cameron. The boys were seven years old twins. Everything looked really good from the outside. Except Karen has a secret that has been eating at her for about seven year, and one day Karen broke all the way down, which lands her in Orchards Psychiatric Hospital. This is where Karen begins to open up and come from behind her mask.
While Karen is receiving treatment Ben finds out who he really is. He has held everyone to such high expectations- that it could have been what drove Maggie to feel that if he knew her dirty little secret, he wouldn't want her anymore. Did Maggie really pay attention to what Ben was saying or did she hear what she wanted to hear? In his search to find out what has driven his wife to this point, Ben realizes that he really loves Maggie for who she is. At this point he is willing to except what he finds out. Maggie Stovall represents so many people plagued by depression and forced to live in a world that may not understand that it strikes christians too. Thanks Karen for taking on this subject in hopes of helping others understand what it is like to live with depression. Most of all things for helping people realize that prayer can get you through anything.

On Every Side

In this wonderful piece of inspirational fiction, Kingsbury tackles the subject of religious freedom, which was inspired by an actual case in Marshfield Wisconsin.  The story line centers in Bethany, Philadelphia around a Jesus Statue in Jericho Park. Two lawyers on opposite sides are drawn together by Faith Evans, alias Faith Moses.  Evans worked for WKZN affiliate where she did Wednesday’s Child, which highlighted children in the foster care system seeking a permanent home.

Evans was warned about airing her political views on the network, but upon hearing the bad news that a legal group named HOUR was interested in having the Jesus Statue removed to protect innocent bystanders from having any certain religious view pushed on them. Evans couldn’t help her self she was raised in a Christian home.  Once again Kingsbury uses this situation to show how our past can play into our future. 

The young and very bright attorney Jordan Riley, who worked for Hour, grew up next door to Evans. His mother died of cancer, which lead to him and his sister being separated in the foster care system.  During this time Evans and Riley were young, but had deep feelings for each other. After losing his mother, sister, and Faith, Jordan had decided the Jesus he saw in the park with open arms didn’t exist.  On the other hand, Evans father, Bob Moses and his friend Joshua Nunn, “had opened the Religious Freedom Institute in Bethany, Pennsylvania.”  After opening the institute Moses had a heart attack, which left Nunn alone to handle such cases.  Without spoiling too much for you, this is a must read.

I received this book free from blogging for books, and my opinion is my own.