As part of my end of the bargain for being lucky enough to get a FREE and GREAT read, I post reviews of books that Bethany House sends me. The follow is what I wrote for the title "Hidden Affections" by Delia Parr, actual and original review is on Amazon.com
I received this free from Bethany House as part of their Blogging for Books program. I really enjoyed the book, it had all the fun of an arranged marriage but the twist was that the couple wanted an annulment or divorce from the beginning. So you see these two characters not trying to make it work as much as failing to NOT make it work. A fun premise to read about =)
I enjoyed the character of Annabelle as she isn't a heroine that constantly is making mistakes and as you read, you are thinking "what an idiot, can't she get it together?!" Or possibly I am the only one who does that...
Anyway, she is portrayed as a woman of faith whose character and integrity are tested in numerous ways by her unexpected (and unwanted) marriage, her past coming back to haunt her and how she can handle doing the right thing when put in the wrong circumstances.
Overall, it was a good read with a character you want to cheer on. The romance side of it was a bit lacking, especially at the end, and you know how it will end up from the beginning but with a little twist.
I recommend this book and its author as a good fun read.
Now onto my thoughts past the actual book. In most Christian circles, divorce is a bad word. You hear about so and so getting a divorce and it is whispered about. Suddenly Nancy, who was an active member of the church, is nowhere to be seen, she doesn't quite fit in with her married friends anymore and she feels that the failure of her marriage is like walking around with a giant "D" branded to her forehead when she walks in the doors of the church.
This book deals with a woman, who by trusting the wrong kind of man, ended up getting the "D" labeled onto her name. She struggles to keep her integrity in tact when the world around her is telling her she is a fallen woman who should be ashamed of where her life ended up.
Isn't it scary how Satan chooses just the right people to whisper lies too so they can go scurrying around to spread those lies? Within the church are the biggest bunch of gossiping hypocrites. Just because they sit in that pew does not mean that truth will come from them. Deception inside the church is as prevalent as outside those walls. Sad but true. But what can you expect? After all, Satan doesn't need to lead away those lost but those who should already know the truth. He can save his biggest and most persuasive lies for those who are hearing the truth.
I like that this book dealt with the harsh reality of divorce from a Christian standpoint. Not really in a theological way as it doesn't try to address the Biblical issues surrounding divorce, but from a personal view of a Godly women who was shunned because of the title divorce gave her. It wasn't a preachy or tried to sway you to an opinion but left you wanting to show more compassion to the men and women who are in this position.