By Debbie Roome
Reviewed by Phee Paradise
I’m so pleased to be able to review Embracing Change by our own Debbie Roome. It’s a sweet romance set in New Zealand and South Africa.
Sarah Johnson meets Joel Baxter when she moves to New Zealand under difficult circumstances. He can see that she is troubled and offers to help her any way he can. Their friendship develops through the compassion that Joel offers Sarah and she gradually finds a home in her new country, so far from her family in South Africa.
Their friendship grows into something more, but they both have obstacles to overcome. Sarah must work through her grief for a lost love and learn to forgive the one to blame. And Joel needs to face the fact that Sarah is not a committed Christian. But his kindness and that of his friends help Sarah to heal and she slowly begins to stop blaming God for her pain. Love triumphs in the end, with many feel good scenes along the way.
Besides the comforting love story, one of the things I loved about the book was the way Roome brings New Zealand to life. For me, it’s a distant and exotic place, but reading the book made me feel like I was there. Her descriptions helped me see the awesome mountains and beaches and the everyday language used words and phrases just slightly different from what I hear every day. If you’re a Kiwi, you won’t even notice. If you’re not, you’ll feel welcome in this fascinating country, just like Sarah did.
But more importantly, Roome also gives us an understanding of the racial tension that still exists in South Africa and the pain caused by it. What appears to be a simple romance, turns into an insightful look at prejudice and it's consequences.
Please put this book at the top of your list. You'll be glad you did.
We’re so anxious for you to read this book, that we’re offering a copy of Embracing Change to one of our readers. All you have to do is write a romance in 100 words and post it as a comment. And to make it even more exciting for you, we’re going to send you some other books to read as well. So get our your computers and send us your best work. We’ll announce the winner in a week or so.
About the book:
Embracing Change took first place in the Rose & Crown novel competition in 2009. It is due to be released in late September 2010.
This what the judges had to say about Embracing Change: The winning entry tipped the scales because of its very strong inspirational and emotional storyline as well as excellent standard of writing, and a well thought out plot with all the threads tied up.
Embracing Change is a compelling story of grace, forgiveness and redemption. When Sarah Johnson's fiancé is killed by a hijacker in South Africa, Sarah carries out his wish to continue with their plan and moves to New Zealand, taking his ashes to scatter there. In her grief she hasn't counted on her gradual healing coming from two unexpected sources: Jesus Christ, and His new plan for her - Joel Baxter.
But will Joel's old flame, Mandy, succeed in destroying Sarah's fragile progress in both her spiritual and earthly paths? And will she ever break free of the oppressive power still held over her by the hijacker who murdered her fiancé and attacked her, too? — It takes a journey halfway back across the world for Sarah to face her demons, and finally forgive.
This story will take you through the majestic Southern Alps, the Garden City of Christchurch and up the east coast of New Zealand as well as through the vibrant streets of Johannesburg and Soweto.
About the author:
I am a Christian writer based in New Zealand where I have lived since 2006. I was born in Zimbabwe and later lived in South Africa for 15 years. I'm happily married to Kevin and have five wonderful children, the best daughter-in-law and two pampered pooches. I'm passionate about writing and my favourite genre is Christian fiction. When not writing, I enjoy music and am a member of our church worship team. I play piano, guitar and bass guitar and have a violin that I hope to master one day. I also love photography and travelling.
Wednesday, October 6, 2010