She has a gift for putting words together in a way that always pulls at my heartstrings. The trio of stories in A Kingsbury Collection was no different.
First, you encounter Ellen in When Yesterday Lives. Ellen has had a lot of successes and failures in life. When her father dies, she returns to her childhood home to make peace with people and events from her past. Ellen has no idea what God has in store for her.
Next, you meet Maggie in When Joy Came to Stay. Maggie and her family are on an uncertain journey with depression and all that comes with it. Faith in God will see them through.
Finally, you meet Faith in On Every Side. Faith is a young woman who must make a stand for the truth of God in our uncertain world.
As always Karen Kingsbury introduces and tells interesting tales of the tough stuff we deal with in this world.
A Kingsbury Collection, Three Novels in One, includes three books by Karen Kingsbury: Where Yesterday Lives, When Joy Came to Stay, and On Every Side.
In the first book, five siblings struggle to get through their father's funeral while dealing with their disputes with each other. Ellen, the oldest, is the main character, but the book jumps around a bit from one point-of-view to another. In the end, they all come together, but the story is extremely emotional, requiring a box of tissues toward the end.
The second book was the best of the three. It was the story of a couple who seem to have everything going for them, until she comes face to face with depression and the consequences of past decisions. Meanwhile, her husband races around retracing steps in her past to try to unravel the mystery of her difficulties. The story is well written, with characters that are easy to relate to.
The third book focuses on a newswoman taking a stand against someone she would never have expected to be an enemy. Faith decides to defend her faith when a statue of Jesus in the local park is requested to be removed. She feels that this should not be just another religious item that is removed because it offends a few people when so many enjoy it.
These stories were well-written. The characters seem like everyday people you could meet in your home town, as in most of Kingsbury's books. I did, however, find the size of the book difficult to handle. It is too big to stick in a purse or bag, making it hard to take along with you to read. I also found the idea of God speaking audibly to the characters in the last book a little far-fetched. But overall, very good books for those who enjoy this author.
I received this book free from the publisher and was not required to write a positive review.
An inspirational MUST READ novel!!! 3 books in 1!!
November 29, 2012
If you've never picked up a Karen Kingbury novel, you are truly missing out on some great reads! This is my 7th book and it's actually three books in one. A Kingbury Collection combines, Where Yesterday Lives, When Joy Came to Stay and On Every Side in one massive volume so you can keep the momentum going when you finish the first book and immediately begin the second and then the third in this series. In each book you find a message within the book and you can immediately relate on some level to one or more of the characters in each of the books. She immediately draws you in as you begin each of them and not being able to put them down until you finish each of them. It's almost like an addiction because you will want to read more and more of her books. There is a feel good feeling that each of her novels leave behind and you can't forget them once your done.
In Where Yesterday Lives, the book opens with a scene of a man having a heart attack in his living room while gaining one final look at the family portraits that hang on the wall before blacking out. Ellen Barrett was a top news reporter for the Miami Times and when she receives word of her fathers heart attack from her husband Mike, she knows it's not going to be good. It was a call that she expected and dreaded at the same time. When Ellen asks Mike to accompany her to Michigan, he explains he can't take time off of work on such short notice. She isn't looking forward to returning home to deal with things and her family, but will this be the sort of thing that God can use to bring healing to her family or will it ultimately drive them apart.
In When Joy Came to Stay, is a story dealing with the effects of depression on the life of Maggie Stovall and also how it impacts the lives of those around us. It focuses on how sometimes the person we see on the outside is not the person who is dealing with life on the inside. It takes the reader into the heart of what happens when life spirals out of hand, and too often we put on our facade to show the world that we're alright when deep down inside we are trying to find ways to simply hang on for one more hour. This was a story I could definitely relate to on many levels and shows you the inside view of what goes on in the mind of someone who is depressed and how it impacts marriages, families and even our friends. Sometimes in the case of Maggie's husband Ben, he can't seem to wrap his head around why his wife simply can't snap out of it and move on with her life. Is there a way for them to work together or will this circumstance test just how solid their marriage really is after all?
Finally in On Every Side deals with what it's like to deal with defending your faith. Just how far would you be willing to go to stand up for what you believe? In this casse, Faith Evans is about to be tested in ways many of us are. She is s solid newscaster who decides to defend her faith when a hundred-year-old statue of Jesus that stands in the middle of their park is asked to be taken down in a violation of the separation of church and state. Now Faith is about to go head to head with powerful attorney, Jordan Riley who is fighting for human rights and is completely against the God that Faith believes in. Will they be able to find common ground or will this be another religious item that is removed simply because it offends a handful of people?
I received this wonderful collection compliments of WaterBrook Multnomah Publishers for my honest review and have been completely captivated by the entire collection. It's hard to pick a favorite in this three-in-one book because there are powerful messages to be gained in each of them that will help you or someone you know, at some stage in your life, maybe not now but in the future. Karen Kingsbury continues to be a favorite author for me and I look forward to every single one of her books that come out or even ones I haven't yet been graced with the opportunity to read just yet. If you are looking for a wholesome story with a powerful message, consider picking this one up at your local book retailer. In my opinion, this one rates a 5 out of 5 stars and has found a permanent home on my library shelf.
When the sudden death of her father shakes Ellen Barret's world, she realizes that each of her four siblings remember him differently. A week together to plan the funeral brings out all the repressed and unspoken hurts from their growing up years. To complicate Ellen's confusion, she gets in touch with her old boyfriend. Ellen and her husband have neglected their faith and each other, so she could be headed for disaster. Will an old friend's prayers for her be answered?
When Joy Came to Stay
Maggie has repressed the lies of her past until depression brings her to the point of desperation. How can a Christian be depressed? How can someone who writes advice for families have her own family in shambles? Her husband, Ben, has to find out what is wrong with Maggie. She has checked herself into a psychiatric hospital and refuses any contact with him. Will he be able to forgive and love her when he finds out the truth?
Karen Kingsbury always probes a nerve with her books. She is not a "happy ever after" type writer, but is realistic with what actual people face, spiritually, emotionally, and relationally because of decisions' consequences.
On Every Side
I had never read On Every Side before as I had the other two, so I enjoyed it the mostâ€”not knowing what was going to happen. One interesting thing about this book were the characters' names: Bob Moses, Joshua Nunn, Faith, Jordan, and the park in town where the well-loved but suddenly controversial Jesus statue was locatedâ€”Jericho Park! These names made the book fun to read because the characters got inspiration from the book of the Bible, Joshua.
Jordan Riley, a lawyer for a group determined to rid public places of any references to God, targeted the Jesus statue in the town where he had lived as a boy. To him, it seemed God had failed him when his mother died, and his sister and he were separated. When he returned to the small town, he found his best childhood friend still serving the God he had left, and they were on opposite sides of the conflict.
This book is so good, and I do not want to give away any of its secrets! Karen Kingsbury deals with walls the characters had built around their hearts, and just like Jericho's walls, they have to come down, because as Faith says, "You can't be angry at God forever."
Like other Kingsbury books, there is a historical basis for the main plotâ€”to remove the Jesus statue from public view. She is my favorite Christian fiction author. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to receive this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishers in exchange for blogging my opinion.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Blogging for Books program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
As I really like Kingsbury's writings, I am enjoying these stories. They are fiction, but could be true as these things happen in everyday life. I am just finishing the second book of the three stories.