admin   May 26, 2017   No Comments on


Of Stillness and Storm

Of Stillness and Storm

“I felt torn between two worlds. Each with its own mystery. One more captivating than the other, but the other more real and breathing.” It took Lauren and her husband ten years to achieve their dream—reaching primitive tribes in remote regions of Nepal. But while Sam treks into the Himalayas for weeks at a time, finding passion and purpose in his work among the needy, La…

Title : Of Stillness and Storm
Author : Michèle Phoenix
Rating :
ISBN : 0718086422
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 336 pages

Of Stillness and Storm Reviews

  • Lolly K Dandeneau
    Jul 12, 2016

    “Back in our lives. Back in my bed. I tried to muster up the swells of anticipation that had preceded his returns in the early stages of our life in Nepal. But I couldn’t manufacture the longings, not anymore.”

    Lauren and Sam find themselves in Nepal with son Ryan, in support of Sam’s Christian trailblazing among the poverty stricken tribes. Ideally, it seemed like the right path to take despite the sacrifices. Sure, there are power outages and frugal living- things as simple as showering are a p

    “Back in our lives. Back in my bed. I tried to muster up the swells of anticipation that had preceded his returns in the early stages of our life in Nepal. But I couldn’t manufacture the longings, not anymore.”

    Lauren and Sam find themselves in Nepal with son Ryan, in support of Sam’s Christian trailblazing among the poverty stricken tribes. Ideally, it seemed like the right path to take despite the sacrifices. Sure, there are power outages and frugal living- things as simple as showering are a production in effort. While Sam is off living his dream, Lauren and Ryan are left isolated, with increasing strain within their small family unit. Ryan is slipping, and in sore need of his father’s attention the reader knows something bad is about to happen. Sometimes, the most gracious, christian people lose sight of their own children while on a mission to save the world. Lauren herself is a woman with needs, God-faring or not, and when a man from her past, Aidan, returns to her life through social media it fills a void she had been trying to ignore. Is she betraying her husband Sam? What constitutes betrayal? Is Sam betraying his family with his Christian Enthusiasm , his calling from God? Just how much hurt can such a calling excuse? And what of his son? How can a man who is selfless with strangers neglect the growing needs of his own boy?

    This isn’t my usual read, but I enjoy the other-side of the story when thinking about the children of missionaries. Asking kids to be selfless, to make mature decisions, expecting them to ignore their own needs because ‘it’s God’s will’ and ‘even terrible things that occur are destined’ just leaves a sour taste in my mouth. Religious fervor can do as much harm as good, and how much of a voice do children have when adults call all the shots. From the start the reader knows Ryan didn’t want to go to Nepal. Lauren herself is torn between two worlds, and she is waking up to her son’s dangerous spiral into depression. I was surprised by what happens more between mother and son than by Lauren’s interactions and return of Aidan. It isn’t going to turn out as you would imagine from the blurbs. This isn’t some seedy novel, it’s actually more painful than I thought it would be. Destiny is a strange companion. I enjoyed the story- sometimes the Ideal is far more enchanting than the reality of someone’s dream. Just how much would you risk, and how beholden are you to a decision you made for your spouse’s benefit when you know in your heart something is off?

    Publication Date December 6, 2016

  • Laurie
    Sep 09, 2016

    When Lauren’s husband becomes convinced that God is calling them to minister to remote tribes in Nepal, Lauren finds it difficult to argue against both “God’s will” and her marriage vows. But two years in, Lauren is feeling trapped and their thirteen-year-old son Ryan has yet to adjust. Getting back in touch with a childhood friend awakens her desire to fight for her son – and for the woman and writer she used to be. This is a raw, intimate look at the toll the missionary life can take on a fami

    When Lauren’s husband becomes convinced that God is calling them to minister to remote tribes in Nepal, Lauren finds it difficult to argue against both “God’s will” and her marriage vows. But two years in, Lauren is feeling trapped and their thirteen-year-old son Ryan has yet to adjust. Getting back in touch with a childhood friend awakens her desire to fight for her son – and for the woman and writer she used to be. This is a raw, intimate look at the toll the missionary life can take on a family. It brings up hard questions about discerning God’s will and deciding where your priorities lie. Lauren is a very human, very relatable character whose struggles will be familiar to many Christians, and her story, though fictional, should be required reading for anyone involved in full-time ministry. This is an absorbing and important read.

    I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. It’s due to be published on my birthday, so I’m considering it an early present. 🙂

  • Angela Dueck
    Dec 04, 2016

    I didn’t particularly like this book. It was kind of depressing and I spent most of the book being frustrated with the characters. Their choices made me frustrated and angry and wondering how they could be so dense. I know the main point of the book was to show how parents’ choices in ministry can affect their children negatively, but it left me with a bad taste in my mouth because I felt like nothing really was resolved by the end.

  • Madelyn
    Dec 30, 2016

    Did I miss the memo? The one where it became “ok” to curse and use blasphemy in a Christian book? Well, it seems

    did. But this author apparently did not.

    You know, I’m astonished that Thomas Nelson printed this book. I’m disappointed, too. Because this disregards the basic, so very basic, principal of what Christian books are set to do.

    I have never strayed from my original viewpoint – If a book is marked as “Christian” it should have one goal, above everything: to inspire you to be more like

    Did I miss the memo? The one where it became “ok” to curse and use blasphemy in a Christian book? Well, it seems

    did. But this author apparently did not.

    You know, I’m astonished that Thomas Nelson printed this book. I’m disappointed, too. Because this disregards the basic, so very basic, principal of what Christian books are set to do.

    I have never strayed from my original viewpoint – If a book is marked as “Christian” it should have one goal, above everything: to inspire you to be more like Christ. Far too rarely have I found a book to meet that criterion (which should be very simple to accomplish).

    We’ve come to expect this type of verbiage and immorality from secular books. But I feel as if the safe house that used to be the Christian genre is quickly disintegrating.

    /////////////

    This novel is focused on an offbeat woman who spends 90% of the book with a vendetta against God and is consistently cursing Him (especially prevalent in the last fourth of the book)– yet still, when she finds herself in trouble, she revives her faith enough to pray “Please, God. Please.”

    It reminds me of a song. I long ago stopped listening to this artist, but his words ring true, even still.

    (

    )

    -NF, Oh Lord

    Everything about her mindset was wrong. Everything about the marriage was wrong. Everything about the relationship with the child was wrong. And none of it was ever resolved. “I’m sorry” doesn’t fix it all, but that was the moral of the story. Telling your son that he “didn’t do anything wrong” after he attempted to commit suicide… I’m dumbfounded. I honestly don’t get it. How could a book with such a potent message about the trials of a missionary life stoop so far. So utterly far.

    On another note, let’s discuss one of the most disgusting aspects of this book. The main character, Lauren, believes it is perfectly fine and acceptable to have a relationship with another grown man and tell him that she loves him (we’re not talking “I love you as my brother in Christ.” – we’re talking about a former boyfriend). She denies she was having an “illicit relationship” but, by all accounts, it pretty much was, by the very definition of the word “illicit” (she didn’t even tell her husband she was communicating with him!) In other words, she was loving another man besides her husband. And she thought it was ok. And there was never any remorse. Or condemnation. She was never apologetic. Can you even imagine? Finding your spouse telling another man or woman that they love them? I’m cannot even comprehend that. Why is this projected as acceptable?

    I’ve said this before, but I’ve received an incredible amount of backlash from it – so let me attempt to explain myself. I don’t read books with cursing, and I don’t believe in general that Christians should make a habit of it. (note: I am not, in the slightest, judging or condemning anyone, in any way.)

    You might think – one, two, three curse words. It’s not a big deal. To be perfectly frank, I used to believe that as well. Then it dawned on me that this is about so much more than cursing. It’s the mindset, it’s the heart. If an author (not specifically this one) has fallen to accept that the use of profanity is moral, where else have they compromised their standards, and what worldview will they be projecting in their books? In the case of this book, it was numerous sexual innuendoes and a mindset of God that is woefully inaccurate.

    ///////

    I will acknowledge this. It was well written, it was intriguing, and yes, I did finish it. Why? Because there was some sliver of hope in me that thought in the last chapter Lauren would repent, that thought in the epilog something would tie together and everything would come back to glorify Christ. It didn’t. And I hope I’ve spared you from having to find that out for yourself.

    *I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest opinion.*

    *I do not intend for this to be a personal attack against the author.*

    Find the full review, with a complete content breakdown, on my blog, here:

  • Carrie Schmidt (Reading is My SuperPower)
    Dec 14, 2016

    Of Stillness and Storm is one of those books that embeds itself deep in your soul, the kind of story that rolls around in your heart long after you’ve finished reading it. It’s sobering and raw and heartbreaking, yet even in the despair there is hope and goodness.

    Michèle Phoenix has created characters and settings and situations so vivid that you feel as though you are there in Kathmandu with them. You experience Lauren’s anger, Aiden’s desperation, and Ryan’s angry desperation. You also want to

    Of Stillness and Storm is one of those books that embeds itself deep in your soul, the kind of story that rolls around in your heart long after you’ve finished reading it. It’s sobering and raw and heartbreaking, yet even in the despair there is hope and goodness.

    Michèle Phoenix has created characters and settings and situations so vivid that you feel as though you are there in Kathmandu with them. You experience Lauren’s anger, Aiden’s desperation, and Ryan’s angry desperation. You also want to step through the pages of the book and shake some sense into Sam who proves to be a piety doppelganger to St. John Rivers from Jane Eyre. There are moments where you will grit your teeth in frustration, others where you will wince in disbelief. Still other moments will leave you gasping in stunned horror and groping for that box of tissues you should have kept handy!

    And yet … in the midst of those storms, comes a stillness. The peace that ushers in is palpable, the difference noticeable. Interestingly – poignantly, poetically – the stillness brings its own set of storms. And though there are dangers to be carefully navigated within the stillness, and though mistakes are made, it’s here in the stillness that we see a life redeemed from the pit. Not on the mission field where a father’s “calling” threatens to destroy every last fiber of his family’s faith, hope, and love. But in online messages sent to a hurting friend from a hurting friend.

    I’m still not completely sure how I feel about the storyline between Lauren and Aiden (in many ways it reminded me of Ethan Frome) but I said at the outset of this review that Of Stillness and Storm is a book that rolls around in your heart for awhile. And I can say this with certainty – After reading this beautifully penned novel, you will (hopefully) never see missionary families the same way again. Especially missionary kids who are so often overlooked in the shuffle. Maybe that means your prayers for them will be different. Maybe you’ll think about these families, these kids, more often and petition God on their behalf when you do. Maybe you’ll ask if there’s anything they need and you won’t mean just the peanut butter they can’t get there.

    Bottom Line: Of Stillness and Storm by Michèle Phoenix is haunting and poetic and not a book you can easily walk away from. It’s a cautionary tale and a riveting story, all at once. I’m still reacting to a lot of it, to be honest. In my spirit. In my gut. In my heart. Wanting to hug some characters close. Wanting to shake some sense into others. This is not a book to be read lightly but it’s one with the power to heal and the power to prevent. Which, really, is the best kind of fiction.

    (I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book.)

    See my full review at

  • Vera Godley
    Dec 08, 2016

    This is a very well written book though a hard-on-the-heart story to delve into.

    The author takes us through the courtship and into the throes of a marriage giving the reader word pictures of the manipulation of the husband over the wife in things secular and spiritual. The husband feels and intensely believes he is called of God to serve in some vastly important way and a perchance meeting with a business acquaintance leads his heart to Nepal.

    He begins to maneuver his life and that of his wife a

    This is a very well written book though a hard-on-the-heart story to delve into.

    The author takes us through the courtship and into the throes of a marriage giving the reader word pictures of the manipulation of the husband over the wife in things secular and spiritual. The husband feels and intensely believes he is called of God to serve in some vastly important way and a perchance meeting with a business acquaintance leads his heart to Nepal.

    He begins to maneuver his life and that of his wife and young son in that direction against the desire of his wife and strong discouragement of the church elders. Being discouraged by the elders and seeing no support in that camp, they leave the church and the husband seeks support elsewhere.

    They do go to Nepal. The wife and son are left for weeks in this strange land while the husband treks into the world he feels compelled to serve.

    This story brings to bear the harshness of life for those serving in foreign fields. Fiction? Yes, but so revealing in its reality. Life is not easy or always benign for this missionary. This is the modern age, but even that does not ease the life of the families serving in countries other then their homeland – especially when it is forced on them by a husband unfeeling for the family needs.

    A story such as this should compel husbands, wives, churches, mission boards, etc. to fully vet candidates who seek to minister afar. Not all are called. Not all are to serve afar. It behooves all to be diligent to determine the true call of God on their lives.

    I received a complimentary copy to facilitate a review of my honest opinions which are freely given.

  • Carole Jarvis
    Dec 31, 2016

    Reviewed at The Power of Words:

    If I had a complaint, it would be that the time span between one Michèle Phoenix story and the next is too long by far. But I guess that’s really a compliment, in a roundabout way. Michèle’s previous novel, In Broken Places, is one of my all-time favorites.

    Of Stillness and Storm is a story that continues to linger in my mind. It’s about relationships, physical and spiritual. It is beautifully crafted in a style that skillfully blends exquisite

    Reviewed at The Power of Words:

    If I had a complaint, it would be that the time span between one Michèle Phoenix story and the next is too long by far. But I guess that’s really a compliment, in a roundabout way. Michèle’s previous novel, In Broken Places, is one of my all-time favorites.

    Of Stillness and Storm is a story that continues to linger in my mind. It’s about relationships, physical and spiritual. It is beautifully crafted in a style that skillfully blends exquisite narrative, literary quality, candid themes, and emotional depth. With rawness and honesty, it plumbs the depths of commitment to family and God. This is not a light or easy read – but it’s a haunting and thought-provoking one.

    Of Stillness and Storm is the story of Sam, Lauren, and 13-year old Ryan, a missionary family dedicated to reaching the distant villages and tribes of Nepal – and of Aiden, a friend from Lauren’s past that she reconnects with online. Backstory passages make us privy to all that has led them to this place in time.

    I loved the complexity of these characters. Sam had always had a vision of global impact and to him, deprivations were a badge of honor. I understood Sam’s passion and admired his drive to reach the Nepali people, yet I struggled to like him. I so badly wanted to reach out and shake some sense into him, yet I knew such effort would result in failure. Lauren’s heart is for her son, but she is bewildered and at a loss by the changes she sees in Ryan, and it’s not long before we see a family in crisis.

    There’s so much upon which to reflect in this story – for instance, God’s will or man’s desire, blurred lines between ministry and marriage, submission, the unwitting effect of parents’ decisions on children. I loved this quote by Lauren during a conversation with Sam: “I tend to think that who we become because of our faith is more important than what we do to prove it.” I was kind of taken aback by the ending, yet it reflected the gritty realness of this story, and I actually saw it coming.

    Of Stillness and Storm speaks of something that Lauren discovered and that I take joy in every day … that out of darkness and loss emerges a “relentless, demanding, trustworthy, benevolent, and healing God.” Oh, for more stories like this in Christian fiction!

    Highly recommended.

    I was provided a free copy of this book through Litfuse Publicity. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

  • Lydia Howe
    Dec 20, 2016

    Why I Choose this Book:

    It’s a contemporary about missionaries – specifically struggling missionaries. It sounded intriguing.

    What I Thought about this Book:

    WARNING: This review contains spoilers!

    I literally had no clue what I was getting into. Of Stillness and Storms was gloriously beautiful. Heartbreakingly honest. Terrifyingly real. Horrible, amazing, gripping, totally wrong, and completely spot-on all at once. Each page was one more waving red flag, screaming about the train wreck that was ta

    Why I Choose this Book:

    It’s a contemporary about missionaries – specifically struggling missionaries. It sounded intriguing.

    What I Thought about this Book:

    WARNING: This review contains spoilers!

    I literally had no clue what I was getting into. Of Stillness and Storms was gloriously beautiful. Heartbreakingly honest. Terrifyingly real. Horrible, amazing, gripping, totally wrong, and completely spot-on all at once. Each page was one more waving red flag, screaming about the train wreck that was taking place, slowly, one word at a time.

    The writing, the storyline, the whole concept, was exceptional. The tension between the main character (Lauren) and her husband’s (Sam) understandings of how God works and the compound effect of those views was expertly told.

    Sam. Ugh. He changed so little throughout the book. His idealism at the beginning is basically the same at the end. Only the settings changed. His fierce desire to live largely and his devotion to his own convictions ironically make him appear predictable and stagnant by the end. You just know he isn’t going to change, and Lauren’s palpable frustration is shared. In spite of – perhaps because of – her mistakes, she seems like the most living character in the book, because she’s acting like a real human. Sam’s single-mindedness glazed his vision, and his undoing was when he stopped taking Lauren’s input into whatever equation he was using to find God’s will. He ended up being an absentee control freak – which sounds like an oxymoron, but is so true.

    It was intriguing because it’s not easy to tell exactly where everything fell apart. You can see the seeds early on (the book contained large portions of flashbacks), but the only real barometer we have is Lauren’s response. If Lauren and Sam were completely united in their mission, the story would look completely different. What’s disconcerting is that Sam could still be a stubborn control freak and no one might ever know. He would probably look like a great missionary and person to most people, and Lauren’s support would validate that. As it is, our sympathy with Lauren’s humanity cues us that something is off with Sam, and by the end of the book, it is tragically obvious.

    Conclusion

    This book is by far the best one I’ve ever read in regards to TCKs (Third Culture Kids) and the challenges they go through. I’ve grown up around TCKs, and many of my closest friends are TCKs. Sometimes I feel like one myself. It came to my attention a few years ago (when visiting some missionary friends), how there are so many misunderstandings when it comes to TCKs, and that can be a huge problem.

    With my job I have the privilege of hanging out with missionaries a lot. I’ve heard stories that are comparable to this one, but with incredibly beautiful grace and mercy filled endings. I’ve seen how real the issues this book dealt with can be, and how much heartache can spring forth when miscommunications take over. This book handled the topic so vividly that it made me want to recommend it to everyone.

    Unfortunately there were some borderline issues in this book – a couple scenes that I’m not comfortable recommending, as well as several words. There were also a couple of places that I couldn’t tell if they were using God’s name in vain or not (you’d have to see the writing style to know why it was confusing), so that was a disappointment. Also, the whole premise is rather disturbing (but, in like a really honest, needed type of way). Therefore I can’t exactly recommend it to everyone. But! Depending on your personal guidelines, you might want to check the book out.

    Rating

    I’m giving Of Stillness and Storms 4 out of 5 stars, and 8 out of 10.

    *I received this book free from Litfuse*

  • Heather Gilbert
    Jan 19, 2017

    4 1/2 stars. This novel, although published by a Christian publisher, reads more like mainstream women’s fiction, which I really enjoyed (which means there is some language, not a tidy Happy Ever After, etc.). But this is an important story, because it charges into a realm generally left untouched in Christian literature–the lives of missionary kids and families and the unique stresses they face. It also delves into the calling of God and a couple as they struggle to determine what that is for

    4 1/2 stars. This novel, although published by a Christian publisher, reads more like mainstream women’s fiction, which I really enjoyed (which means there is some language, not a tidy Happy Ever After, etc.). But this is an important story, because it charges into a realm generally left untouched in Christian literature–the lives of missionary kids and families and the unique stresses they face. It also delves into the calling of God and a couple as they struggle to determine what that is for them and their son. While at times I felt there were too many flashbacks, I understand how they wove together to lay the background of the rather precarious foundation of this marriage. I’m not quite sure how I felt about the ending, but in the end, the book took me to another place and illustrated a fact I believe strongly–namely, that one’s family needs to come before one’s ministry, or the entire ministry will eventually fall to ruin in terms of its effectiveness for the Kingdom.

  • Callie
    Apr 05, 2017

    2/5 stars

    So I just finished this book, and I’m sitting here with my mind whirling, trying to decide how to describe it. I’m torn between knowing what the author’s aim was and thinking she accomplished her goal really well, and also thinking that I am not completely thrilled with the final tone of this book.

    I was going to try to keep this spoiler-free, but then I realized that if it were me reading this review, I would want enough spoilers to decide if it was going to be a book that was worth rea

    2/5 stars

    So I just finished this book, and I’m sitting here with my mind whirling, trying to decide how to describe it. I’m torn between knowing what the author’s aim was and thinking she accomplished her goal really well, and also thinking that I am not completely thrilled with the final tone of this book.

    I was going to try to keep this spoiler-free, but then I realized that if it were me reading this review, I would want enough spoilers to decide if it was going to be a book that was worth reading to me personally. So there are some slight spoilers below. You’ve been warned.

    What I Liked

    The best way to describe this book is a cautionary tale, on three fronts, and I guess what I liked about the book was that the author got her points across in a really powerful way.

    1. The first is a cautionary tale about what can happen when Christians put a supposed call to ministry ahead of their families. This book follows Lauren and Sam as they meet, fall in love, and have a baby…then as they proceed onto the mission field. However, it becomes clear pretty early on that “the call” is really Sam’s exhaustive drive to bring about his own vision of what he wants to do with his life – and to bring his family along without regard to whether they are also feeling the same “call”. The results are disastrous and heartbreaking. We watch Ryan, a happy six year old, slowly descend into a sullen teenager who feels rejected by his father in favor of Nepali villagers, and consequently rejected by God. This brings him to a very dark place, and he attempts suicide. This was especially hard for me to read, since I currently have a happy six year old. However, I thought this is where the author made her point so well. The first ministry that we are given by God is to our own family, and any other ministry comes second to that…and mixing up the order can destroy lives and even faith. This book is a sobering story, even chilling.

    2. The second cautionary tale was about how easily one can slip into an emotional affair if they aren’t careful. In the process of the story, Lauren starts communicating with a childhood friend, and eventually becomes so infatuated or in love with him that it has negative effects on her marriage and family.

    3. The third caution seems to be about submission, and how a wrong understanding of it can lead wives to submit to things that they know in their hearts go against God’s plan. This happened when Lauren kept submitting to Sam’s missionary plans instead of listening to the Holy Spirit’s still small voice that told her this wasn’t right. Unfortunately, Sam’s character in this book is pretty single-minded in the worst way when it comes to the getting on the mission field (and though the book doesn’t say it, I think it’s for his own glory, not God’s), and if Lauren stood up to him he would have gone without her.

    What I Didn’t Like

    Appropriately, what I didn’t like about this book can also be separated under those three points the author was trying to make.

    1. First, with regards to priorities in ministry – I felt that in the process of making this point, the author didn’t do a satisfactory enough job (to me) in clarifying that God does not call us to sacrifice our families for the sake of ministry. The book talked about how Lauren and Sam neglected Ryan, but I thought the author could have done a better job explaining how Sam’s “call” really wasn’t from God if Sam was willing to sacrifice his family for his own idea of what mission work should look like. Phoenix attempts to show this in the end when she writes about how Lauren turns back to “her God”, the God who loves His children and is grieved by all they excused in His name, as opposed to “Sam’s God”. But it wasn’t quite good enough for me, because it wasn’t God at all who “called” Sam to abandon his family, and I wish that was shown more clearly.

    2. Second, on emotional affairs – I felt that what Lauren did was never really presented as wrong. Sure, Sam was totally neglecting and disregarding his family for his own glory, but I still think Lauren should have been more on guard, and at least recognized what she did wrong with regards to getting so involved with Aidan. I don’t feel like she ever did. We as the reader are just left to our own devices on the morality of her emotional affair (note: it’s not okay). The consequences are seen, but the repentance is not.

    3. Third, I kind of hate how this book threw in phrases like “the tyranny of submission”, without really explaining more about biblical submission. It makes submission the bad guy, when really I think it was a misapplication of submission. I don’t think the command for wives to submit to their husbands involves standing by and doing nothing while your child is neglected and goes down a dangerous path because of his parents’ poor choices. Lauren’s character acted like she was helpless because of “submission”, when really she just didn’t want the conflict that would result if she stood up for what God was showing her about the effects of Sam’s plan on their family. And instead of seeking God about her struggle, she just distracts herself with her emotional affair (see above). Not a great example of biblical submission at all, and maybe that was the point, but again, I wish it was clarified more.

    Conclusions

    I’d also just like to note that while there was a lot of talk of “reaching” people, there wasn’t a lot of talk about what the characters were trying to reach them with. Only passing references to the Gospel and Christ, but the characters themselves didn’t seem to personally recognize what Christ did in dying to take away our sins and rising again, not in a way that impacted their lives – they were just going through the motions of “ministry”, either to keep the peace (Lauren) or to do something “great” (Sam).

    Once again, maybe that was the point, but the bottom line is, I wouldn’t recommend this to someone who didn’t already know what it means to believe in Jesus to take away our sins, or have a strong foundation in their knowledge of what it means to be saved. I appreciated what the author was trying to do here in presenting us with the perils of jumping recklessly into missions, but only because I am grounded in my faith. For someone who doesn’t really know what Christianity is about, this book presents a very negative view of “Christian” intentions gone amuck.

    I wish the salvation message had been presented more clearly through the ending in this story in case any non-believers pick it up, because without that this book lacked a shot of the Truth that I felt it desperately needed. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it because of that. I would recommend it with caution to believers in Jesus if they want a book that gets them thinking about the kind of struggles missionaries may face, and a book that gives a good shot in the arm about the importance of ministering to your own family – but don’t expect to leave this book feeling encouraged, because you will be disappointed.

    Note: I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for a review. This is my honest opinion.