Friday, May 01, 2015

On Shifting Sand - Book Review

Long before anyone would christen the Dust Bowl,
Nola Merrill senses the destruction.
She's been drying up bit by bit since the day her mother died,
leaving her with a father who withholds his affection
the way God keeps a grip on the Oklahoma rain.
A hasty marriage to Russ, a young preacher,
didn't bring the escape she desired.
Now, twelve years later with two children to raise,
new seeds of dissatisfaction take root.

When Jim, a long-lost friend from her husband's past,
takes refuge in their home, Nola slowly springs to life under his attentions
until their reckless encounters bring her to commit the ultimate betrayal of her marriage.
For months Nola withers in the wake of the shame she so desperately tries to bury,
burning to confess her sin but wondering whether Russ's love
will be strong enough to stand the test.


My Thoughts
Nola is thirsty, dried up, and hungry.
Oh, not in the physical sense, but in the spiritual sense.
She lives in the Dust Bowl, a place that has not seen rain in months
and in a manner of speaking Nola's spirit is just like the Dust Bowl-
dry. . .parched. . .dark. . .dead.
She does not realize that she is slowly dying inside 
because her hope is not founded on Jesus Christ.
Her father has verbally abused Nola all her life and no matter what she does 
she can never crawl her way up to his expectations.
He is like the dust storms that make their way through Oklahoma-
pain, heartache, and devastation is all that is reaped.
Nola meets Russ, a kind, gentle, loving man 
who offers her a way out from her father's bitter and hateful grip.
He asks for her hand in marriage and Nola takes the escape, 
but later finds herself unhappy and dissatisfied just like before.

Jim enters Nola's life at a time when she is at the end of her rope with life.
He sparks something inside of her and she is unable to resist-
oh, she tries, but her strength fails her and great ruin occurs. . .

True happiness and joy can only come from God the Father.
This is something Nola learns when she falls to the bottom of the pit-
the pit that is so deep and dark she wonders if there is even an escape.
On Shifting Sand is a beautiful story of God's forgiveness that is available to everyone
and finding joy, peace, and contentment in Christ alone.
You may wonder how a Christian author can write about a woman 
who commits this awful sin {adultry} against her husband 
in a manner that is edifying and godly-
I wondered the same thing, my friends :)
But then I read the book. . .
and Allison Pittman shares the story about a woman who is lost
and needs Jesus Christ - we all need Christ in our lives.
My friends, there is no sin that God cannot forgive
and there is no pit that is too deep that the Lord cannot rescue us from.
This is the hope and gift that Allison Pittman brings to light through the life of Nola.
She writes in a gentle, modest and touching manner.
You would think a book about this particular subject would be vulgar,
but it's not. . .
the pages are overflowing with the blessed redemption and forgiveness found in Jesus.
God offers each one of us His mercy and grace-
there is complete restoration found only in Him.

"He has forgiven you."
He says it s a fact proven thus far only to him.
"How do you know?"
"Because I have to have faith in His mercy.
It's what I know to be true, that sins confessed are forgiven.
And if I can't believe that He has forgiven you after your sincere confession,
what hope can I have that I myself will be forgiven?"
{ page 366 }

** I was given a free copy of this book from Tyndale Publishers for an honest review.
All thoughts are my own. No other compensation was received. **
{ I would recommend this book for married women only }


* * * * * * * * * * * *

A question for Allison Pittman. . .

What inspired you to write On Shifting Sand?
This is always the hardest question to answer. 
I loved writing about the dynamics of marriage with my Sister Wife series. 
But then, a story of a marriage needs conflict,
and I’ve yet to see a CBA novel really tackle the idea of adultery 
in a way that showed it to be a conscientious, willful sin, 
disassociated from the circumstances of the marriage, or the relationship 
between the husband and wife. 
Too often, it was a backstory to justify a divorced character. 
Or it was a series of close calls, but never fully realized. 
I wanted to portray it as sin. 
Pure and simple, but unique in the fact that it reaches beyond the sinner, 
and carries with it a risk in confession. 
And then, I wanted to write a story that follows through a journey of restoration—
not simply coming back to Christ, but coming back to life. 
It took a bit for all the pieces to come together, 
and so many of them weren’t discovered until I was buried in the story.
More than any of my books, inspiration for this story came bit by bit.

7 comments:

Sola Scriptura said...

Stephanie,
I always enjoy reading your book reviews. I hope you are having a lovely weekend.

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

It takes a skillful writer to do what you describe here, to tell of an adulterous act but to do it gracefully as to not get into details that are unnecessary, to shine the light on the redemptive part.

I hope you one day get to read THE WAITING by Cathy LaGrow. You will weep.

Have a super day my friend!

Scrappy quilter said...

Allison Pittman always writes thought provoking books. She is an excellent author and I love your book review.

Anne Payne said...

I have heard fantastic things about her books, and your review just means I have GOT to get on the ball and read one of them!
Hope you're having a great weekend, dear friend. {{hugs}}

kitty@ Kitty's Kozy Kitchen said...

I was wondering the same thing...how could this sensitive subject be written about? However, after reading your wonderful review, I can see that it's a book about hope and forgiveness, which can be found through Our Saviour, Jesus Christ.
I hope you're enjoying a beautiful weekend, sweet friend.

Barbara Neubeck said...

... what a great review Stephanie... I'd like to read the book now...
... Hope you have a great week....
Hugs... Barb xxx

Robyn said...

You've written such a great review, Stephanie. It seems that you have a second career awaiting you!
This is a book I'd like to read because it sounds real - every day life problems that so many experience.
I hope your week is off to a good start, my friend.
My thoughts are with your family and lots of prayers for your grandfather. xoox

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