Monday, October 10, 2016

The Undoing of Saint Silvanus by Beth Moore

  • Hardcover: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (September 20, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1496416473
  • ISBN-13: 978-1496416476

About the Book:

Exciting fiction premiere from beloved New York Times bestselling author Beth Moore. 

Only God knew why Jillian Slater agreed to return to New Orleans on the news that her father had finally drunk himself to death. It's not like they were close. She hadn't seen him or her grandmother, the ice queen in almost 20 years. But when Adella Atwater, the manager of her grandmother's apartment house, called and said Jillian's expenses would be paid if she'd fly in for the burial, a free trip to New Orleans was too intriguing to resist. 

What Adella didn't tell her was that the apartment house wasn't a house at all and, whatever it was, bore the dead weight of a long and painful history. As soon as Jillian meets the odd assortment of renters and realizes that her grandmother had no idea she was coming, she hatches a plan to escape. But the investigation into her father's death quickly unfolds and Jillian is drawn into the lives of the colorful collection of saints and sinners who pass through Saint Silvanus. 

She soon discovers there is more at stake than she ever imagined. Who is behind the baffling messages and the strange relics left on the steps? Is it possible that her family is actually cursed? Or is it just this crazy old house that holds them all under its spell? 

Jillian walks into a web of spiritual and personal danger borne out of her family's broken history, and despite Adella's wiliest efforts, only God himself can orchestrate the undoing of all that is going on at Saint Silvanus.

My Thoughts:

When I found out Beth Moore had written a work of fiction, I was intrigued.  I've read many of her non-fiction titles and participated in countless Bible studies using materials she's prepared.  But could she tell a story?

Answer?  Yes, she can.  She can tell a good story.  "The Undoing of Saint Silvanus" would have been a great story had it not been quite so ambitious.  I had moments when I felt I was reading a criminal procedural, only to be reading a contemporary novel, then to believe I was reading theology.

Don't misunderstand me, I enjoyed "Saint Sans".  The characters and lively and quirky, the tension is tight and realistic, and the substory of the murder was excellent.  When all of the elements converged, it was a bit like drinking from a fire hose.  I felt like Beth believed this was her one shot, so I'd better get it all out there in this one book.

Some of the scenes were written to drive the reader to tears--but I didn't cry.  Some were designed to elicit laughter---but I smiled, no chuckles.  While I enjoyed the story, it was kind of like my first date--he tried a little too hard.

I'm hoping we see another novel come from Beth Moore.  I'm curious to see what she creates next, and to see how much her style changes.  For now, "The Undoing of Saint Silvanus" gets my "one to watch" award.  So until the next book...

Mark Your Place,




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