Still Life  -     By: Christa Parrish
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Still Life

Thomas Nelson / 2015 / Paperback

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Product Description

A tragic plane crash. One woman who lost her husband. Another who gave up her seat for him.

Adah spent her first twenty-five years with her family as part of a fringe religious sect. Her only contact with the outside world was through customers at their farm store. Then she met Julian, a photojournalist who'd come to document their lifestyle. They eloped mere days later and Adah was thrust into a completely new life as a wife, city-dweller, and an individual allowed to make her own decisions. But she has no idea who she is.

On her twenty-sixth birthday, Julian plans to fly home from an assignment to give her her first-ever birthday present. He's thrilled when Katherine Cramer gives up her seat so he can make the flight. But the plane crashes and everyone on board is killed, including Julian.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 352
Vendor: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: 2015
Dimensions: 8.38 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 1401689035
ISBN-13: 9781401689032
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

Ada escaped her family’s self-enclosed world to elope with a mysterious stranger. Five months later, she’s a widow in a strange new world.

Ada was born into a fringe religious sect named for her father, The Prophet. But her lifelong habit of absolute obedience was shattered when she fled the family compound to elope with photographer Julian Goetz.

Katherine Walker’s marriage was a sham. She and Will rarely spoke without yelling—and never touched. Her affair brings her both escape and guilt.

When a tragic plane crash takes Julian from Ada and exacerbates Katherine’s sense of shame, both women become desperately unsure of where they belong in the world—until the devotion of an artistic young boy conspires to bring them together.

From award-winning novelist Christa Parrish, Still Life is a cunningly complex work that captures themes of abusive religion, supernatural love, and merciful escape. It will resonate with anyone who has ever felt called to a drastic change—or tried to hear the small whisper of God’s voice.

Editorial Reviews

'Parrish’s inspirational novel is a must read for anyone moved by the power of human emotion and redemption.'
'...this is a haunting examination of life in all its gritty and painful moments.'
“Parrish’s style is quietly contemplative. The writer has a gift for portraying deep, meaningful emotion and transformation in a relatable, touching way.”

Product Reviews

4.4 Stars Out Of 5
4.4 out of 5
(5)
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(2)
(0)
(0)
Quality:
4.9 out Of 5
(4.9 out of 5)
Value:
4.7 out Of 5
(4.7 out of 5)
Meets Expectations:
4.1 out Of 5
(4.1 out of 5)
71%
of customers would recommend this product to a friend.
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  1. 3 Stars Out Of 5
    Great book but...
    August 2, 2015
    Autumn
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 2
    This review was written for Still Life - eBook.
    I have enjoyed reading Christa's books. But I am frustrated by her leaving the endings open... The story feels unfinished. I am not sure whether I would buy the next book she writes because unfortunately Stones for bread also ended unfinished. She has great potential...
  2. Missouri
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    I love the depth of Christa Parrish's works.
    March 12, 2015
    Kathleen
    Missouri
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Thursday, March 12, 2015

    Still Life by Christa Parrish, 2015

    An adventure to learn further of the one you love; bravely in the process Ada Goetz finds herself.

    Marrying five months ago to leave for a new life. Now I am alone. How will I navigate a world I do not know? The last word I had from him is gone. He was coming home to me... my first-ever birthday celebration. On my twenty-sixth birthday, my husband dies coming home to me. What am I feeling? Numbness; seeing others, hearing them like through a tunnel. A time tunnel, never to return to me.

    The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.

    --Proverbs 18:10

    Lost and apart, Ada shuffles through time, attempting to go back ~ but recognizing she must go forward.

    We're all of us too busy and too focused on our own needs to look up and notice the desperation of others. Or the laughter. If someone looks at one of my photographs and his heart is awakened by what is framed theregrief, loss, joy, poverty, peace, illness, ignorance, fortitude, gracethen perhaps he'll be moved to respond when he comes face-to-face with those same things when passing his neighbor on the sidewalk in front of his own home.

    --Ibid., 183

    Do we have vision to see outside of ourselves? I think of the old Time magazine black-and-white photos during war time with the barbed wire strung every which way. Perspective. Seeing.

    I love the depth of Christa Parrish's works. She is within and without ~ seeing with a heart that yearns, sees ~ despair, hidden joy, relaxed indifference. You will not walk away without remembering one character in particular, for they all are different ~ some clinging, others defiant and yet one searching for Truth that can only be found from the beginning, God. Shallowness is swallowed up in victory of discovery. I especially remember Stones for Bread, her first novel I read. You will find the titles have hidden meaning too ~ until they become rich with explosion of an aha moment of discovering the dual meaning that is life expounded so deftly, so unexplainably rich. To throw light on what before was dark and obscure, her characters grow. I also like how she writes from the perspective of each character, revealing the whole.

    How our lives bump into another, unexpectedly. We may not even know or realize the extent of our presence, or lack of it. Julian Goetz did that to Evan Walker; met him without saying hello. In the depth of exchange, Julian did not know Evan knew him, deeply as a silent mentor by studying his work. Silently projecting, with a knowing eye for focus, for detail behind his eyes. Seeing the inside reflected on the face, that someone else likely would miss. The instant when real was glimpsed and then hidden again beneath a veneer of platitude, silence. Grimness that everything is okay; but it is not.

    I am looking forward to her next novel. Her awareness bears listening to in a world void of hearing. Expansion of thought from the heart, melting an ocean of obscurity.

    ***Thank you to BookLook Bloggers for sending me a copy of Christa Parrish's novel, Still Life. This review was written in my own words. No other compensation was received.***
  3. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    Real and Raw
    March 5, 2015
    Melissa
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This is the first book I have read by Christa. And all I can say is I want more.

    What a fabulous author.

    She has woven together a story that is so real and raw I was crying in the first 30% of the book.

    Katherine is alive because she gave up her seat so she could spend another night with the man she is having an affair with. Even that is more complicated than it sounds. So many connections and things that can hurt so many people.

    There is a great line in the book that she says to her husband that I LOVE, but I wont reveal because I dont want to take anything away from the story.

    Ada frustrated me at times. I wanted her to get some confidence and a backbone. And she does. She did stand up for herself eventually and I was cheering her on.

    Christa had me right where she wanted me, Im sure, as I was wondering how in the world Ada and Julian ever met and then we find out. I was so glad she told that part of the story and so much more.

    A deeply moving and beautiful novel that I can not recommend enough. If you are looking for something a big deeper and a little different this is a must read.

    An e-copy of this book was given to me by the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers program in exchange for an honest review.
  4. Indiana
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Still Life
    March 1, 2015
    lcjohnson1988
    Indiana
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Christa Parrishs novels are unique and very thought-provoking and heart tugging too. The story kind of starts out in a way that made it hard for me to follow at first so I read the back cover before proceeding further. Once I got the jest of the tale, I was able to go back inside the pages and really enjoy the progression of the characters, plot and climax.

    The basic thrust is that the story is written depicting the point of view four different people have to a tragic event. Like ripples left after a rock is thrown into water, so readers will begin to see how people are affected by one incident. However, there is a beautiful love story involved and in time readers will enjoy discovering too how one life can touch so many and how a wife married for a short time sets out to understand the man she was married to and lost all too quickly.

    Reading about the questions people have been asking of God for decades is but one theme and discovering afresh just how big God is beyond our understanding is another. The author paints with words how, like her characters, we may not know the reason why, but if we take one step at a time and listen for His voice, we would find He is closer than we ever realized.

    I loved that Christa didnt have her characters lives all wrapped up in a neat, clean ending but leaves them living in pages right are. Unlike TV or some movies that bring the story to a conclusion before time is up, the tale helps us glimpse lives for a moment and then move on. It felt as though there was a moment to intersect with the characters or themes, but not a place to dwell. I came away thinking that while as humans we go from one story to the next or one event in our lives to whatever happens, God knows every single moment of our lives. We intersect and interact with God all day long and with Him we dwell, which can bring such peace in the various seasons of life.
  5. New Zealand
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    3 Stars Out Of 5
    In Two Minds ...
    February 26, 2015
    Iola
    New Zealand
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 2
    Im not sure what I think about this book. It had good points and not-so-good points, aspects which worked for me and some which didnt. The story follows two main characters: Ada, whose husband has just been killed in a plane crash, and Katherine, who gave up her seat on the flight so Julian could get home in time to celebrate Adas birthday and so she could spend another day with her lover.

    The main character, Ada, grew up in a stifling fundamentalist sect (Id hesitate to call it Christian, as it didnt appear to offer any of the grace of the gospel, merely the fear of punishment). Her sections feel distant, which feels odd at first because we dont really understand why she is distant, and why she seems to have no friends and know so little about anything. Its hard to understand why, although this does become clearer as the story progresses (mostly through the use of flashbacks).

    Still Life has an original yet intriguing plot with lot of interweaving between the two main plot lines. The characters are interesting, with more faults and idiosyncrasies than normally seen in Christian fictionwith the possible exception of Julian, who seems to be a candidate for sainthood. The Christian message was understated, yet definitely there, and the title was a play on words on several levels, which become clearer as the novel progresses.

    All of these things usually combine to a book I love, yet I didnt love Still Life. Im not sure why not. I think its because I didnt relate to Ada and I didnt understand how she came to be married to Julian (and even when this became clear, I wasnt convinced). Her voice was authentic to her upbringing and personality, but it made it difficult to truly engage with her, and therefore, made it difficult for me to engage with the story as a whole.

    Thanks to Thomas Nelson and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.
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