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Who Do I Lean On?, Yada Yada House of Hope Series #3
Thomas Nelson / 2010 / Paperback
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Now that Gabby is back on her feet after being in a homeless shelter, she has a new dream that will stretch her faith farther than ever. Gabby expects a fight from her husband over custody of their boys, but she is taken aback when he leans on her for a loan to cover his gambling debts. When she turns him down, Philip makes a desperate move that puts Gabby, her friends at the shelter, and even the House of Hope at risk. The props Gabby usually leans on--Jodi, her Yada Yada prayer partner; her friend Harry, the ex-cop; and Lee, her lawyer, who has fallen in love with Gabby--are not always there when she needs them most. Gabby must make a decision that could change the course of her life. But is it for better--or for worse?
You can only walk forward when you learn how to lean.
Just months after her husband threw her out of their penthouse and sent their two sons away, Gabrielle Fairbanks is finally getting back on her feet. She has a job she loves at the homeless shelter, an apartment for her and the boys, caring friends, and even a new love interest. Best of all, an unexpected windfall has given her a brand-new dream--a House of Hope for homeless mothers and their children.
Piece by piece, Gabby's new life is coming together--but the old one keeps dragging her back. First her husband Philip hints at a reconciliation...then hits her up for a loan to pay his gambling debts. And when Gabby tells him no, he makes a desperate move that puts them all in harm's way. How can she even think of embarking on a new venture when so much is up in the air?
Gabby is realizing that she needs something far greater than her own strength or even that of her friends. That to move forward, she must first lean on the only One who knows what the future holds.
Neta Jacksons Who Do I Lean On? continues the saga of Gabby Fairbanks and is centered on Proverbs 3:5, which says, Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding (NIV). Gabby Fairbanks bites off a little more than she can chew in trying to purchase an apartment building, and her estranged husband Phillip is in over his head with loan sharks. Gabbys friends cant always be there for her, and she begins to wonder on whom she can lean.
Jackson does an excellent job of working a valuable lesson into a believable characters real life. She shows that Gabby has more than just the main struggle to deal with in her life, which is something many authors do. She makes it very clear that Gabby cannot deal with the entire situation without God. However, Gabbys relationships with nearly everyone seem to be superficial. She only talks to them about what is going on in her life and rarely asks what is going on in their lives. Their conversations also rarely go beyond what is happening at the time. Nevertheless, there is an excellent plot climax in a hospital among God, Gabby, and Phillip. At one point in the story Gabby seems mostly recovered from being kicked out by her husband Phillip. The two have worked out a system for when each will see their children, and Gabby has begun the process of buying the six-apartment building for single mothers who live in a special protective environment known as Manna House. Out of the blue, Phillip comes back to her, asking for a loan to cover his gambling debts. She refuses, and he makes a decision that endangers his life. On top of this, the line between professional and intimate relationship between Gabby and her lawyer, Lee Boyer, starts becoming a little blurry. When things get complicated and Gabbys friends cant always help, she learns that she must lean on God alone.
Gabby is entirely too immature to deal with the situation in which she finds herself. This can be accounted for by the years of soft living in her back story, as well as the authors desire to emphasize that Gabby is not able to deal with life. I would have liked to have seen more of the other characters and discovered who they really were, but there were so many of them that there wasnt time to get a good look at many. Overall, the story has a believable premise and an excellent message. Women (especially new Christians) will definitely enjoy it, and I would recommend it for them. Rebekah R. Blomenberg, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
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