Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Emotionally Impacted ~ Wonderful Novel! ~ Reinventing Leona by Lynne Gentry ~ Review

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I was viscerally – emotionally – affected by this book. A novel I picked up for the pleasure of reading it and not for the purpose of reviewing, I was completely blown away by the power packed into this debut novel.

            The story of a preacher’s wife who becomes the preacher’s widow left me with emotions as though I had lost my own husband. I had such a clear taste of what that grief must be like, but I wasn’t bogged down until I felt as the reader, I couldn’t get out of the emotional trauma.

            There is even a bit of situational humor. The main characters have such a voice upon the page that sometimes you can’t help but chuckle at the thoughts they share. And this story truly does become like a living, breathing moment in time when I stepped between the pages.

            The wordsmithing and craft of the novel was really outstanding. When I finished the story I had hope for the characters, but more than that I was impacted by their story. I was moved by their journey and inspired by their determination.

            I felt as though I’ve now walked a mile in their shoes and to me, there is no better sign of good storytelling.

            **I was not required to write this review, I did so because I loved it!**

More about the novel...

Leona Harper loves being a pastor's wife. Her impressive resume touts thirty years of coaxing hot water from rusty parsonage plumbing, planning church potlucks, and standing beside her husband while members take potshots at his sermons. Except for the little tiff with her grown children, Leona feels her life is right on track with the wishes of the Almighty . . . until her husband drops dead in the pulpit.

When the church board decides to fill the Reverend's vacated position, Leona is forced to find a paying job, mend her fractured family, and tackle her fears. With life spiraling out of control, Leona might find the church members' antics comical if she weren't so completely panicked. Can the faith of an overwhelmed widow withstand the added heartache of two resentful children and several underhanded church members? If Leona can't trust God, how will she learn to trust herself?


  1. Thanks for the terrific review, Casey. Blessings on your writing.

  2. Casey, I love your insights into this book and meeting Lynne here. The cover is sure eye-catching and lovely and the themes sound so very interesting. It's wonderful that you highlight books out of my radar as I tend to get stuck in historicals. Blessings on Lynne and her writing. Can't wait to read this and see what's next:)

  3. Wonderful review, Casey!

    Lynne, congratulations on an amazing story!

  4. Lovely review :) It's alwasys great to find one that captures the emotions well. Thanks.

  5. LYNNE, and the same to you!! This novel definitely blessed and entertained me!

    LAURA, I have a feeling even though you are a HF reader, you would like this one as well. It has a wonderful quality to it in the writing. :)

    CHERYL, amazing is right. :)

    FAYE, that can be hard in fiction, but when done well it really works! (As it did in this one. :)

  6. Nothing more powerful than a heartfelt endorsement, Casey!

  7. Wow! I love how this book sounds. However if you were so moved I might be bulldozed by it. I am a pastor's wife and I has for years harboured a fear of my husband dying. I finally got victory over those thoughts a few years back. Then three years ago we moved into a new position at a small, rural church. The previous pastor had a heart attack shovelling snow one Sunday morning, leaving his wife a widow living in a parsonage. My exact fear in real life.
    I will have to summon a lot of courage to tackle this book.
    Thanks for sharing your reactions to it.

  8. Thanks for sharing a great review on a great book! I've had the joy of being able to read Lynne's book as well and I agree completely with your description. I was hoping to finish it soon myself and share a brief review on my blog. :-)

    Jodi - Being a Pastor's wife myself, I can definitely relate to how you feel. I have to remind myself of the scripture which says that "God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind." Definitely something that is a continuous battle and in need of constant prayer.


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