The Transformation by Terri Kraus has an unexpected depth. Oliver Barnett has spent much of his life trying to please him mother while also living out his faith. Samantha Cohen has spent hers trying to please no one but herself. The two are thrown together when she hires him to be the contractor to renovate a beautiful old church into a restaurant, a job his mother is certain will make him the bullseye on Satan's dartboard with God's permission for the sacrilege. The church maintains a certain sanctity, and everyone who spends time there will be transformed. The plot sounds like any number of romance novels, but Kraus ' writing elevates this to pure literature. She creates a taut suspenseful story where the reader can feel the noose tightening around Oliver's neck. Oliver's faith is a rare gem, and his desire to make everyone happy puts him at the mercy of far too many people. The characters are three-dimensional, not all good or bad, and every line of dialogue rings true.Kraus exposes the hypocrisy of Christians who believe in forgiveness for only some and can justify anything with Scripture without truly believing. Just like reading a detective or suspense story where the tension grows with each page, so does The Transformation. This book was truly a joy to read.
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