I was thrilled to get to read this book, it is what I would categorize as women's fiction and is Sharon's debut novel. Based on this book I am anxious to see what she will accomplish for her 2nd novel. "Every Good & Perfect Gift" is a great book that draws on real life experiences and deals with some heavy issues such as infertility, illness, friendship and faith. Sharon manages to take these heavy issues and infuse them with humor and feeling. It is not a usual thing for me to find a book that grabs me from the first paragraph and doesn't let me go until the last page (as I'm bawling). This book does that, and its not a mystery or a suspense - usually I think of women's fiction as being a slowly developing work in character development and a continuously, unraveling plot line - Sharon's book breaks that mold in the manner of jumping right in with both feet. You will meet Gabby and DeeDee and follow their path with them as they show that true friendship breaks all conventional stereotypes and is truly a blessing from God.
Sharon Souza's debut novel captured me from the first chapter. One thing I loved about this story is that it told of a beautiful, loving relationship between two women modeled on the love between David and Jonathan in the Old Testament. Sometimes even loving the most lovable person in the world isn't easy, and Souza illustrated the blessing of doing just that. Scenes of self-doubt and frustration that revealed the character of Gabby as a flesh-and-blood woman who wrestles with doing the right thing were beautifully written. The story drove toward an issue that would disturb the seemingly perfect lives of her characters to create the ultimate conflict. I was curious about what that would be and how it would play out, and I was satisfied with the turn the story took. This story ended up being a love story between friends and illustrated the ultimate love story between God and his people. Well done!
In her debut novel, Sharon Souza introduces herself as an author of depth, compassion, and faith. Her first book, Every Good and Perfect Gift is a beautiful look at friendship and sacrifice.Gabby Whitaker and DeeDee McAllister have been best friends since sixth grade. Theirs is a rare and beautiful friendship born of time and shared faith. Gabby always considered DeeDee the strong one and herself the follower. Not only are they best friends, but they married best friends. As they near their fortieth birthdays, DeeDee announces her decision that she does want to have a baby, despite her adamancy for the past twenty years she didn't. The four embark on a journey of infertility, tests, trials, failures, and the birth of a beautiful baby. Through it all, Gabby and DeeDee's friendship grows ever stronger. After the birth, Gabby becomes increasingly concerned over disturbing changes in DeeDee's behavior. The diagnosis changes everyone's life forever and challenges their faith. Gabby finds the greatest joy is in sacrificing for your friend.Sharon Souza has written a modern day story similar to the friendship of Jonathon and David in the Old Testament. This heartwarming story will make you laugh, make you cry, and make you want to call your best friend and say 'thank you.' The characters are as real as your next door neighbors. I highly recommend this book. Maybe give it to your best friend and read it at the same time. Sharon's debut novel leaves the reader eagerly anticipating her next one.
Every Good & Perfect Gift "adeptly portrays the strengths of friendship, and the wonderful but often difficult relationships between mothers and daughters," as the Publisher's Weekly review says. What the review doesn't mention is how realistic the characters are and how significant the story is. Written in the first person, but as much about another character as the "I," the novel gives unique voices to both women. And makes the reader care for both. This book is not light weight. It "adeptly" deals with serious issues (not just friendship, though in saying "just" I'm not implying that friendship isn't a worthy topic to explore. Rather, this novel goes beyond that scope and treats something bigger) and "Souza laudably refuses to succumb to a pat ending that neatly ties up all the loose ends." Rather than frustrating, this ending seemed to me like the only one possible. At one point, the PW review called Every Good & Perfect Gift "poignant." That's a good word to describe the story. "Sad" is inaccurate because the story has more to say than "what happened in the end." Besides, in places, the journey to the end is itself poignant. At times I was laughing, at other times I wanted to shake one or both characters, but in the end I cried. And cried. If one sign of a successful novel is that it evokes emotion in the reader, then Sharon Souza has written one very successful novel. Mind you, it is most definitely women's fiction. It is contemporary, and it may touch on some raw edges for some people. But in so doing, it also might help those readers process what is almost an untouchable subject (or subjects) among Christians. Yes, this book is also overtly Christian, but without any platitudes or pretension. It is simply a moving story, one that touched me even though I am far from the target audience. Good books have a way of doing just that.