Sometimes a Light Surprises by Jamie Langston Turner is a poignant and beautifully written novel about how the quiet faith of just one person can make ripples and touch everyone around her. Ben Buckley has removed himself for the most part from the emotion of living after the murder of his wife Chloe twenty-one years ago. He turned over the care of his four children to his mother, allowing her to make excuses for his absence until he's no longer a part of any of their lives. Kelly Kovatch has lived a sheltered life in a Christian home-schooled family of eleven children until her mother's diagnosis of cancer forces her to seek a job at Ben's store as a designer. He initially gives her the job out of a bit of pity, but her unshakable faith and gentle spirit brings change to everyone who works at the store, including Ben's crotchety secretary Caroline, who decides to investigate Chloe's murder for herself. This is not a wildly romantic or action-packed novel. It almost feels like peeking into someone's real life and watching in wonder. Every character is fully realized; no stereotypes or caricatures here! Ben has filled his life with rituals and busyness to escape the gaping hole in his life left by the murder of Chloe and the defection of his children. His quiet awakening corresponds with the emergence of Kelly's confidence. The story builds quietly, one small piece placed upon another until it ends, naturally, wonderfully. It's a terrific book to lose yourself in for an afternoon.
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Christy Lockstein (ChristysBookBlog1)
I'm a happily married mother of three. I review books daily on my blog Christy's Book Blog. I love to read, and I love the Lord. Those four things really define my life.
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Ben Buckley has never gotten over the loss of his wife. More bewildering than the mystery surrounding her death is the radical change that occurred in her shortly beforehand -- a "conversion," she had called it. Baffled, angry, and still feeling guilty for the way he'd withdrawn from her during those final weeks, Ben now lives behind the protective walls of severed relationships and rigid routines. An unlikely young woman knocks on the door of his narrow world. Her simple honesty and childlike faith are incomprehensible to him, but in spite of his misgivings Ben finds himself on a journey he never would have begun on his own. - publisher
Table of Contents: Not on Sundays -- Silly word games -- A third and fateful time -- The subject of rituals -- Curses and judgments -- No easy answer -- A slow, sad dream -- Rich in symbolism -- A candle burning -- What might have been -- A sort of tithe -- What kind of father -- The same language -- A brief glimmer -- One long, long week -- Millions of tiny pieces -- Preference for shadows -- Some vision or wonder -- Moment of truth -- Part of another life -- Heathen land -- Clear leading -- Something legitimately fragile -- Common things like trees -- Divine means -- Swirl of stars -- An ordinary man's heart -- Appointed cycles -- The sound of many voices -- Rising moon -- Between two testaments -- In spite of the cold -- A very certain plan -- After rain.