About the book: Since 1955, Sheila Franklin, a talented musician, has perfectly performed the role of devout pastor’s wife, locking away her past as Sheba Alexander and Sylvia Allen. Her carefully constructed façade crumbles with a single phone call from a young Marine named Samuel, the illegitimate son she secretly put up for adoption. Samuel begs Sheila to use her government contacts to get his fiancé, Mali, a Thai prostitute, into America. A dangerous mixture of love and guilt spurs her to help her only child even though it devastates her husband Edward and exposes her questionable past. After a quarrel with Edward, Sheila and Samuel board a C-130 for Thailand and then search Bangkok’s steamy streets for a Madonna-faced prostitute. The two whisk Mali from a brothel but are seized by a warlord who considers Mali his “number one girl.” In a teak “ghost house,” Sheila discovers God’s grace and gains the freedom she needs to find her own identity—Sheila, Sylvia, and Sheba. A framed story, this novel has roots in the bohemian 1940s New Orleans French Quarter and spans three decades, including the turbulent Vietnam era.
My thoughts: As you can tell by the book summary above, this book covers a lot of ground! And yet, Patti Lacy manages to do so effortlessly, keeping you intrigued at each stage and anxiously waiting to see how the rest of the story will unfold.
The characters, particularly Sheila/Sylvia/Sheba, feel very real and their reactions do not seem forced and contrived in any way. Sheila has the most depth to her, which makes sense as this is her story, but the other characters are also fleshed out nicely, enabling you to understand the motive behind their behaviours, and to have compassion for some of them that you wouldn't expect to have.
The book doesn't just cover a lot of ground in the areas of timeline and geography - but also in the good, the bad and the ugly of the Christian faith and life in general. Characters include everyone from nuns (some severely strict, some strict with compassion, and some more empathetic than others); to pastors in the public eye and the all-important image to protect that comes with that; to the compassionate founders of the Moody Bible Institute; to a proud and image conscious aunt covering up years of pain; to ordinary people who can make a difference in someone's life.
Music also plays an integral part in this book - and I love music, so I loved that. :)
To top it all off, this book had unexpected twists and an ending I couldn't predict.
I highly recommend this book!
Thank you to Stephanie and Amy from Litfuse Publicity for organizing this tour and providing me with my complimentary review copy.
Enter the Rhythm of Secrets NOOK eReader Giveaway:
Patti and her publisher, Kregel, are giving away a NOOK prize package worth over $150 to one lucky winner!!!!
Enter the Nook eReader Giveaway and you could win:
* A brand new Nook eReader with Wi-Fi
* $25 gift certificate to Barnes & Noble
To enter, simply click here http://wildfireapp.com/website/6/contests/91774 to enter, then tell 5 or more friends about the contest. Oh, and enter soon! Winner will be announced on February 16th at Patti's Rhythm of Secrets Facebook Party