This is the first book I've ever read by Tamara Leigh, and I loved it! While it is written in a style that is now termed "chick-lit", it touches on some very real issues in the Christian walk. She does an outstanding job capturing the conflict between traditional and contemporary services going on in many churches today. Most importantly, Tamara shows the freedom that comes with accepting the forgiveness we receive through Christ and the awesome transformation our lives undergo when we learn to trust Him with our dreams!! I LOVED the book and highly recommend it to others!
Splitting Harriet not only has a catchy title, but it really fits the story. I am always impressed when an author comes up with a title that truly represents the book. And the cover captures the meat of the story as well. This is one awesome chick lit novel that has all of the ingredients you want to see in a Christian book. Romantic tension, first person internal dialog that flows naturally, tough decisions, and spiritual growth. Her fears were realistic given her past, but she needed to learn to trust in order to grow.Watching Harriet grow in the Lord was a beautiful thing to experience as I read this novel. I loved Harri's personality, her quirks, her issues with cats, her imperfect past, her striving to do the right thing, and fearing that the "old man" would return if she gave in to her passions. She was a fabulous and lovable character. I'm sad the story had to end. I read the book in less than three days, so you know it was awesome. The humor was LOL funny, especially when she started noticing the hero's flaws more when she was irritated with him. Example: Why did his nose suddenly seem longer?And Harri was never mean in her thoughts towards others. Honest, yes. But never mean. Even her own negative thoughts about herself were well done. Snappy, but not snippy. Great internal dialog. Harri is a lot like me. She wants to do the right thing, but sometimes selfishness blocks her progress. She's human after all. Wait, she's a fictional character. But she seemed so real! I highly recommend Splitting Harriet. Nothing forced or contrived in this story. NOT a thing!
Harriet Bisset is trapped by the guilt of her past, forever trying to make amends for the grief her rebellion caused her family and church community. Terrified of falling from grace once again, Harriet has immersed herself in doing good, socializing only with the elderly community in which she lives, addicted to Jelly Bellies rather than cigarettes and staying well clear of the opposite sex, at any cost.Maddox McCray is a church consultant hired to bring Harri's declining church into the 21st century. A former bad boy himself, Maddox has experienced God's grace in his life and hopes to share that forgiveness and freedom with others. As Maddox gently makes changes to First Grace, Harri and her older friends are soon in uproar over the discarding of the creaking organ, allowing scrap bookers to come alongside quilters and the horrific suggestion of dual services!Splitting Harriet is a wonderfully entertaining read with a message of deep spiritual importance. Tamara's characterization is exquisite from Harriet to Maddox, the uncompromising Bea and the floundering pastor's kid, Anna. I was invested in each of their stories as the tension arising from the changing of traditions and incorporation of new ideas inspires some at First Grace and terrifies others. The attraction between Maddox and Harri is captivating as Harri's fears of returning to her past poor choices torment her and impact on her relationship with Maddox and her long suffering brother Tyler. The dialog is so authentic, I ached for Harri, cheered for Maddox and felt deeply for Bea. While peppered with humor and wonderful characters, it is the lasting message of God's grace and forgiveness that has stayed with me. You don't want to miss all that Splitting Harriet has to offer!
This book started off with a drunken PK throwing up in a bar. Not your typical opening for a Christian fiction book. Normally when you read about churches who face potential splits due to a younger pastor trying to change things, the ones against change are always older members. So it was a twist to have the lead protester be a 27 year old. Writing books about churches trying to modernize can be a touchy subject. The reader might not agree with the way the author is trying to make her main character side. Harriet seemed though only to want to stay with the older traditional church because it was safe and wouldn't tempt her back to her old ways. Never mind that her faith wasn't actually growing. I liked how she was portrayed as reading a Bible a year but never fully grasped what she was actually reading. I understand that she was scared of slipping back to being a rebel but at the same time she was hurting herself. I love Maddox's character because he was a wonderful portrayal of a Christian who is fully committed yet is ok with being outside of the box. The protesters' attempts to stop the church from changing drove me nuts at first especially a certain organ player. But when you read about why they're against the change, it makes you feel more sympathetically for them. I appreciated the mentions that we shouldn't put Pastor's Kids on a higher pedestal. It's hard for them to grow up in an atmosphere where everyone judges them for what they do and then criticize their parents for the way they act. I also love all the Jelly Bellys in this book! Being a huge Jelly Belly fan myself, I envied Harriet and her big tub. I know I keep declaring books "best of the year" but this one definately deserves to be at the top of the list. It's a fun, fast, witty read with engaging characters, hilarious moments, and been there down that situations. Perfect chick lit read to enjoy during these cold winter months.
Harriet Bisset is a reformed rebel. The only thing worse than being a rebel is being one when you were a preacher's kid. While she knows (in her head) she's forgiven, she's been unable to truly accept it and is living a tightly constructed life eight years later.The only problem is that life is getting ready to change. The church her dad founded has hired a church consultant, and he's shaking things up. And Harriet, when she's honest with herself.Harriet is a character who is trying so hard to do all the right things in her own strength. She lives with the reality of the depths she fell to eight years earlier, and is determined not to get one millimeter close to that line again. The problem is she wants to. Who can't relate to that?!?! The knowing where we should be, but the longing to explore while crippled by fear that if we start, we won't be able to stop!Tamara Leigh does a masterful job of walking her character through the needed evolution without becoming preachy. And the book is made more powerful for it. Now don't get me wrong, she works in a church and her life revolves around God. But she's fully human with quirks and foilables I loved.