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Kregel Publications / 2007 / Paperback
$13.49 (CBD Price)
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Availability: Available to ship on or about 06/19/13.
CBD Stock No: WW420085
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After going through a painful divorce, Laurelle decides to seek spiritual comfort by helping someone who's worse off than she is. But nothing in her experience prepares her for Rhoda, a chain-smoking, brutally honest cancer patient. Through the hills and valleys of their unlikely friendship, Laurelle struggles to give unconditionally---and receives more than she expected! 400 pages, softcover from Kregel.
Laurelle, a recently divorced mother with five-year-old twins, is struggling to make ends meet while sheltering her kids from the pain of their fractured family. After joining a church for the sake of her children, Laurelle offers to help Rhoda, a cancer-stricken woman who tells colorful stories of her past. Emotionally devastated yet determined to be strong, Laurelle searches for truth and healing through Rhodais stories and her own daily life, and tries to find a way to love others truly, deeply, and without restraint. Laurelle and Rhoda both learn that while life can be hard and disappointing, to hope is a decision. Guaranteed fiction "
Judy Alexanders debut novel, Desert Medicine, is the story of two dynamic women. In the middle of a divorce, working two jobs, and rearing five-year-old twins, Laurelle just wants something good in life she can depend on. When her pastor suggests she visit a homebound church member, Laurelle finds more than something constant in her life, she finds a friend whose stories will change her existence.
The main storyline is Laurelles, a hardworking, soon-to-be-single mom who longs to love and be loved again. Interspersed are tales from Rhodas ill-fated past during the Depression and World War II eras. Though their positions and lengths in the novel are entirely sporadic, Rhodas contributions add a unique flavor to an otherwise predictable novel. Through the extra stories, Laurelle and we readers learn of true inner beauty, underserved redemption, and a hope that stands at lifes hardest points.
Alexander doesnt sugar-coat her characters lives. Laurelles divorce is a result of her husbands affair, and before the book is over, she will have one of her own. Rhodas father was abusive, and her own romantic decisions were less than admirable. Though some readers may shrink from this book as a result, these elements give Rhodas faith and Laurelles final moment of spiritual surrender more depth than that which is found in many Christian novels.
Unfortunately, much of Alexanders positive message is lost in a book that is just too long. At 418 pages, many readers will find Desert Medicine to be too much work. If they do choose to continue, theyll be disappointed in the ending which, ironically, is the only part in which Alexander chooses to be ambiguous.
Desert Medicine is a novel with interesting characters and format, and an intriguing honesty. Alexander, however, would have been done a great service had her editors taken more liberties in their work. Published as is, a potential gem will only be covered in dust. -- Bethany DuVal, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
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