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    1. Missouri
      Age: 35-44
      Gender: female
      5 Stars Out Of 5
      September 18, 2010
      Robin Prater
      Missouri
      Age: 35-44
      Gender: female
      God's grace covers all. His redemption touches all. His forgiveness can wash us all. Alison Strobel has written a beautiful story that shows us just how mighty God is and how one choice can change our lives forever. This story brings together, Kim, a young woman facing abuse, Debbie, a woman who is working at a women's shelter, and Joshua, a father, trying to raise his daughter after his wife's death. As each detail unfolds in this gripping story you just keep turning pages. I was not able to put this book down until I finished the last page. Even though I have never found myself in any of these character's positions Alison has a way of making us feel connected with each character. Our pasts haunt us and at times we are not able to forgive ourselves. We find ourselves searching for ways to cover our pain. Each of these characters brought out something valuable. Our need to be loved, forgiven and accepted. We carry such weight and walk in shadows hoping others do not notice our pain. Alison Strobel has a rare gift in bringing such a painful story to light. This is such a hard subject, but this book shows every side of pain. I can tell you, this book is a gem. It is a treasure to hold in your hands. This was the first book I have read of Strobel and it will not be my last. Wow!This was a gift from Zondervan for it's review.robinsnest66.blogspot.com
    2. 5 Stars Out Of 5
      September 16, 2010
      Doreen Blair
      A captivating book. This was one of the most interesting fiction novels I have read. I have never read any of Alison Strobel's novels but she handles with such sensitivity and compassion the sadness of domestic abuse. Writing the book with so many emotions helped me understand just how devastating the emotion of guilt can totally make you lose objectivity and the ability to make wise decisions. The story unfolds as you meet the main characters: Kim, Joshua, Debbie, Maddie. Each character is such an interesting person with many qualities that are healthy and unhealthy. Each interacts most realistically and intriguingly with each other and interestingly for the reader. The author manages to write the story with such candor and thoughtful verbage that you will find it difficult to put it down. I found myself wanting to talk to Kim, cry with Maddie and cheer Joshua's bravery. I began this captivating book one day and had to completely make myself put it down and go about my normal activities.While this book certainly draws in the personal relationship with Jesus Christ and how that definitely makes the difference in life. It is realistic and you will identify with her characters whether as your own personal story, story of one you love or find yourself wanting to help others your path crosses. I received this book from Zondervan Publishing at no cost to review. They do not require it be a positive review, just an honest review.
    3. 5 Stars Out Of 5
      July 24, 2010
      Mimi
      This is the first novel Ive read by Alison Strobel and it was amazing! The Weight of Shadows is not a touchy, feely, life-is-perfect novel. In fact, its hard hitting and a stark contrast to most of the Christian novels I read.Alison tackles topics that you dont see very often, if at all in Christian fiction and she doesnt hold back. Abuse and self-cutting are the two topics that are tackled in The Weight of Shadows and you can tell Alison did her homework.When Kim meets Rick, you think this is a sweet match made in heaven. Unfortunately, heaven doesnt last long for this couple. Kim learns very quickly that Rick has expectations and they had better be met.Debbie is struggling after the loss of her sister a number of years before. She deals with the struggle by throwing herself into her job. Her work at the Womens shelter is becoming more of a weight to bear.Joshua lost his wife and is beginning to move on with his daughter. His in-laws bring tension into their lives that no one deserves. This was one of the best parts of the story, even though it was a hard one to read. Alison didnt hold back with the nastiness of the in-laws and Joshua tried to be as kind as possible, but had to draw the line at some point.The lives of Kim, Rick, Debbie and Joshua begin to intersect as the story unfolds. You dont lose site of the story lines as you read through the Weight of Shadows. You are more and more drawn in.Yes, faith is involved in the novel, but Alison doesnt clobber you over the head with it. Not that theres anything wrong with being clobbered by the Lord. =)I have got to say, this will be in the top 5 books that Ive read this year, if not the best!I received my book from Alison and Zondervan to review. The opinions expressed are my own!
    4. 5 Stars Out Of 5
      July 14, 2010
      Renee
      If you're in the mood for a light, fluffy read you probably won't want to read this book but if you want a dramatic, gritty, realistic book, pick up The Weight of Shadows! This is my first encounter with author Alison Strobel's work and I'm really glad that I had the opportunity to "meet" her through blogging and reading her book. As a person who knows someone who is currently dealing with a domestic violence I can say that Alison's portrayal of Kim's story is very authentic. I couldn't help but cry for Kim and Anne and their abusive situation. The secondary characters are very well written too. Even though they are trying to help Kim, they have problems of their own, which in my opinion, makes this story even more true to life. The story grabbed and held my attention so much so that I could barely put it down and considering that it isn't a romance or historical book, that's a miracle! I look forward to reading what Alison pens next. *i received my free review copy from the publisher.*
    5. 5 Stars Out Of 5
      July 10, 2010
      Vicki
      This is the first book by Alison Strobel I've read, and it was a doozy. The story goes back and forth from character to character. Kim is being abused by Rick, Joshua is raising his young daughter after his wife dies, and he has to deal with his in laws, and Debbie is there for everyone, know matter what they need. All the characters are multi faceted and well developed. The characters of Kim and especially Rick were so spot on, the author must have done much research about abuse for this book.The main message I got out of the book is that no matter what you've done in the past, God can and will forgive you and that you need to forgive yourself. The only negative thing I can say about the book is that there was an overload of characters mentioned that you never read about again.Overall this book was an amazing read. I highly recommend it and I can't wait to read more from Alison Strobel.
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