The Abbey, by James Martin, SJ

book coverPublisher’s Overview:

In the tradition of the spiritual classics The Shack and The Screwtape Letters comes a captivating and poignant debut novel from the revered Jesuit priest and New York Times bestselling author of Jesus andThe Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything.

A divorced single mom, Anne can barely cope with life and struggles to make sense of the death of her young son.

A former architect with a promising career, Mark works as a handyman and wonders how his life got off track.

The abbot of the Abbey of Saints Philip and James, Father Paul sometimes questions whether he made the right decision in secluding himself so thoroughly from the world.

At this Pennsylvania abbey, this unlikely trio will discover the answers they seek—a miracle of hope and understanding that bears witness to the power of God to bring healing and wholeness to our lives.

Written with the compassion, insight, and warmth of his previous bestsellers—Jesus, Between Heaven and Mirth, and The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything—Father James Martin’s debut novel is infused with deep spiritual wisdom, wry humor, and loving grace. Through his characters’ struggles, questions, and crises, we see firsthand how God uses our worries, anger, doubts, prayers, failures, and longings to help us complete ourselves and feel wholly loved.

Read on for an excerpt from The Abbey and for my thoughts on it.

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Secrets of Sloane House, by Shelley Gray

book coverPublisher’s Summary:

One woman’s search for the truth of her sister’s disappearance leads her to deceit and danger in 1893 Chicago. Rosalind Perry has left her family’s rural farm in Wisconsin to work as a housemaid at Sloane House, one of the most elegant mansions in Gilded Age Chicago. However, Rosalind is not there just to earn a living and support her family—she’s at Sloane House determined to discover the truth about her sister’s mysterious disappearance. Reid Armstrong is the handsome heir to a silver fortune. However, his family is on the periphery of Chicago’s elite because their wealth comes from “new money” obtained from successful mining. Marriage to Veronica Sloane would secure his family’s position in society—the lifelong dream of his ailing father. When Reid begins to realize that Rosalind’s life may be in danger, he stops thinking of marriage prospects and concentrates on helping Rosalind. Dark things are afoot in Chicago and, he fears, in Sloane House. If he’s not vigilant, Rosalind could pay the price. Set against the backdrop of Chicago’s Gilded Age and the 1893 World’s Fair, Secrets of Sloane House takes us on a whirlwind journey of romance and mystery.   Continue reading

Bridge to Haven, by Francine Rivers

book coverPublisher’s Summary:

To those who matter in 1950s Hollywood, Lena Scott is the hottest rising star to hit the silver screen since Marilyn Monroe. Few know her real name is Abra. Even fewer know the price she’s paid to finally feel like she’s somebody.

To Pastor Ezekiel Freeman, Abra will always be the little girl who stole his heart the night he found her, a wailing newborn abandoned under a bridge on the outskirts of Haven. Zeke and his son, Joshua—Abra’s closest friend—watch her grow into an exotic beauty. But Zeke knows the circumstances surrounding her birth etched scars deep in her heart, scars that leave her vulnerable to a fast-talking bad boy who proclaims his love and lures her to Tinseltown. Hollywood feels like a million miles from Haven, and naive Abra quickly learns what’s expected of an ambitious girl with stars in her eyes. But fame comes at an awful price. She has burned every bridge to get exactly what she thought she wanted. Now, all she wants is a way back home.

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