I just finished reading WOMAN OF VALLEY VIEW: CALLIE by Sharon Srock. The author did a great job developing believable Christian characters with real-life problems and relationships. No pat answers, no easy solutions in this work of contemporary women's fiction. The characters had to work hard and pray long through their issues. The author used conflict and tension to move the story along at a pace which made it difficult to put the book down. Being a married baby boomer myself, I especially appreciated how she portrayed the protagonist Callie's marriage to Benton. Still sizzling! And it made me want to read TERRI, the next book in the WOMAN OF VALLEY VIEW series.
In her soul-stirring debut novel Sharon Srock introduces us to the women of Valley View Church. Callie Stillman is haunted by the sight of a small casket being lowered into the ground. She still believes it is her fault that eighteen month old Sawyer is dead. Because of the pain of things that went wrong Callie is determined to never again go out of her comfort zone to help anyone.
When April, Callie's granddaughter brings a new friend to church, Callie feels a tug on her heart that something is not quite right with the little girl. She seems too quiet and withdrawn for an eleven year old. Callie starts to argue with God that she is not going to get involved, the most she'll do is make a few inquiries and then let someone else step in if she finds out the child needs help. When Callie tries to get answers from Iris the poor child breaks down to cry but won't share the reason. Will Callie do something she has vowed not to do_.get involved?
Samantha 17 and Iris 11 have had to endure too much in their short lives. First it was the abandonment of their father and then the death of their mother and now if the wrong people were to find out about their situation more trouble could hit them. When Iris has a desperate situation to come up she takes a chance and calls Callie. Will Callie reach out to the girls or will she let her fears keep her from being the friend these girls need?
Sharon Srock is a very talented writer that has woven a story of betrayal, forgiveness and learning to trust God utterly and completely. This storyline was so compelling I was hooked from the very start. I can't wait to be introduced to Callie's friend Terri in Sharon's next installment of The Women of Valley View.
Callie Stillman's compassionate heart results in concern for her granddaughter's friend, Iris, an 11-year-old girl who has begun attending her Sunday school class. Iris appears withdrawn and shy, and Callie's worries about the child's home life rise to the surface. Callie's husband and friends in her bible study group are worried about Callie's involvement after her painful experience regarding a young child in the recent past. As Callie questions Iris about her family she uncovers a heart-wrenching story of loss in the child's life. Iris, her 17-year-old sister and her baby have been running from the authorities for 18 months since their mother's accidental death. Their father, a former drug addict who had abandoned them ten years earlier, is frantically trying to find his children. Callie feels God leading her to help these children. Her discoveries are alarming and cause for further investigation and assistance.
This debut novel by Sharon Srock is a deeply inspiring and descriptive story of loss, faith, trust and forgiveness. Her characters are portrayed with great definition and detail. There are multiple underlying themes in this well-written novel, each developed and brought to light with credibility and compassion. The author presents this inspirational story of struggle and resultant faith through various circumstances and activities that evoke deep emotions. This debut novel is very well written and filled with emotional drama.
Disclaimer: A copy of this book was supplied by the author in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own, and no monetary compensation was received.
Callie by Sharon Srock was a pleasant surprise. The book follows the journey of a woman in her 50s and two sisters with a huge secret. Callie doesn't want to be involved with them but she feels God pushing her to help despite the tragedy she bears extreme guilt that she can't get beyond. It's affecting her marriage, her job and her faith.
There is much to absorb for readers from these pages. It's a heavy book, but has light moments of fun. Despite the seriousness Callie doesn't leave you feeling weighed down and drained wishing you hadn't taken the time to read it. Instead Srock has the genuine ability to make the reader feel a part of the story, almost as a best friend to Callie and the girls. It is an enjoyable read, one that I couldn't set aside until I finished it in the early morning hours.
I was really moved by this book. It is a book about fear, trust, letting go, forgiveness, and mercy. Also love, compassion, serving others, and commitment.
This book drew me in from page one and held my interest through-out. I couldn't wait to get to the end. I had to know how it turned out.
I felt Callie Stillman's pain as she took Samantha, Bobbie and Iris Evans under her wing. Callie was simply afraid. Would she fail again? She could simply walk away, couldn't she?
Samantha, Iris and baby Bobbie. They were a family and if Samantha had her way, no one would interfere. She would keep her little family together no matter what. After all, she didn't need anyone and she sure didn't need their help. Did she? She would prove she could make it on her own. Couldn't she?
I loved how Callie's friends rallied around her. She had the support of so many people. I felt her pain, and raw emotion. I felt God leading her toward her own healing.
I love reading inspirational books that one can clearly see the working of God in each and every situation.
I highly recommend this book to all readers. I promise you will not be disappointed!
Many thanks to the author Sharon Srock for sending me "Callie" to read and review. The thoughts expressed are mine alone.