After finishing Perfecting Katie by Tamara Leigh I was excited to read another of her books. I find her writing enjoyable, easy to read and at the same time follow. I finished this book in just a few hours of reading. I caught myself laughing out loud in parts as well as feeling emotion right along side "Harri." I think that Tamara writes in an easy going and humorous way which hooked me from the start.
Harriet was a PK that rebelled in her younger years, this is her story of finding forgiveness as well as love. The only thing that bothered me that at times I felt that the book had a little bit of filler material, not necessarily info that needed to be included, but for a novel I understand why it was there. I still really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to a friend looking for a light, quick read.
Splitting Harriet is such a unique book. It touches on a couple of tough subjects, but is made enjoyable by the fun writing style of Tamara Leigh. Splitting Harriet focuses on Harriet Bisset a 27 year old former rebellious PK (preachers kid) who seems to only to be able to live life in one extreme or the next. As a kid, she just wants to get away from the church and turns to cigarettes, alcohol, and inappropriate guys. As the reformed prodigal, she is determined to lead a quiet and orderly life amongst the elderly community who cares for her, and she in-turn cares for at church as head of women's ministry and as a waitress at a morning cafe'. In Harriet's opinion, it is either all or nothing, even when forgiven from the past by others and God.
When Maddox McCray shows up, Harriet is thrown for a loop. Her order of life is thrown into chaos as he starts to help revitalize her dying church while trying to help keep everyone happy and avoiding the possible split of an unhappy church. Maddox not only upsets Harriet's work life, but also her personal life when she finds out that Maddox had a rebellious streak like she did, and he never gave up the motorcycle. So, she is bound and determined to believe, because he isn't clean cut and orderly, ready to follow tradition, he isn't reformed. Maddox is bound and determined to prove, that isn't the case.
Tamara Leigh was able to turn a topic that can usually be hard to stomach into a fun book, church politics. Sadly, yes, there can be politics in church and it can rip a church to shreds if not careful. I've seen it, but here, Splitting Harriet is focused on helping a church and making sure that they also help the people who are used to the old, transition to the new, so that they can reach more people with the love of Jesus. The book also focuses on trust, in many different forms. Having trust that the head minister is doing the best to help the church, trusting God with your life and growing into the person He wants you to be, not the person you think you should be, and trusting the people in your life.
This was a fun book and Harriet's quirks make it all the more enjoyable and real. I don't think I've ever read about another character that had such an intense addiction to Jelly Belly.
Thank you to Blogging for Books and Multnomah Books, I received this book for free in exchange for an honest opinion.
My issue with this book is the way the author handled the church politics between staff members. Harri (part time staff member for the church) was expected to trust both the pastor and Maddox (pastor's friend and hired consultant) when neither one of them was being honest with her regarding where the church was headed, how that was going to happen, and when it was going to happen. The pastor and Maddox were making all the decisions while Harri was just expected to completely trust them without being completely trusted by them. (Let's not forget to mention that the pastor ordered the church secretary, Harri's dear friend, from speaking to her about what he had planned.) Harri definitely needed to make changes in how she organized and managed the women's ministry for the church, but when sweeping changes are being planned within a church body, ALL the staff members (part time or full time) should be privy to all information and be part of the decision making process. I found this whole issue quite grating on my nerves. Then there is the conflict regarding Maddox and the pastor believing the worst of and accusing Harri of something she had no part in, near the end of the book - again, not trusting Harri. I'm not entirely sure of what the author intended to communicate through this thread in the storyline, but if you have been through any instances of broken trust with a pastor or church leader, you might want to stay away from this book.
Once upon a time, I was a rebel. And I have the tattoo to prove it.
Then there was the spiked hair-the shade of which changed monthly-"colorful" language that can't be found in your everyday sixteen-count crayon box, a pack-a-day habit, less-than-modest wardrobe, and an obsession with guitar-trashing, drum-bashing music.
Did I mention I'm also a preacher's kid? That's right. And like the prodigal son after whom I modeled myself, I finally saw the error of my ways and returned to the fold.
But since my dad's replacement hired a hotshot church consultant to revive our "dying" church, things aren't working out as planned. And now this "consultant" says I'm in need of a little reviving myself. Just who does this Maddox McCray think he is anyway? With his curly hair that could use a good clipping, tattoo that he makes no attempt to hide, and black leather pants, the man is downright dangerous. In fact, all that's missing is a motorcycle. Or so I thought_ But if he thinks he's going to take me for a ride on that 1298cc machine of his, he can think again. Harriet Bisset is a reformed woman, and she's going to stay that way. Even if it kills me!
Tamarah Leigh is becoming one of my favorite Chick-lit authors. She has a way of bringing each character alive off the page. Harri's struggles become very real and something that each of us can struggle with - accepting forgiveness for our past and moving on while trusting completely in God. Sometimes God uses others to blatantly tell us what we need to hear - it's up to us whether or not we accept the wisdom that is from Him.
I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.
I requested Splitting Harriet by Tamara Leigh, just because it looked like it might be a fun book to read.
Harriet is a former rebel, and she has no intention of going back to those days. As such she shelters herself by mostly hanging out with older people and staying far away from anything remotely rebellious. That is until her church hires a consultant who has a tattoo and drives a motorcycle and she has to learn to let down some of her walls and trust God to guide her.
I was a little skeptical reading the back of this book, because I wasn't sure how the author was going to handle the "church politics" part of the plot, but I thought it was tastefully done. The older people in the story were lovable and loving to Harriet and encouraged her to step out of her comfort zone in healthy ways. I felt like the author kept a good balance in showing the benefits of older/younger church members, hymns/contemporary music, etc. without leaning too much one way or another or making one "side" look bad.
The plot of this book was fun and light-hearted, and kept me wanting to read more! It was very cleverly written, and interesting to read, and I enjoyed the banter between Harriet and Maddox. This is good Christian chic-lit, and if you like chic-lit I'd recommend checking out this book! I am looking forward to reading another one of Tamara Leigh's Christian novels soon!
Note: I received this book for free from Blogging For Books in exchange for this review. This is my honest opinion.