Sunday, March 11, 2012

Stand By Me



Kathryn Davies is a bright young woman from a prominent Phoenix family. But after making a leap of faith at a Christian music fest, dropping out of med school, and moving to inner city Chicago, her family has all but disowned her. Kat’s enthusiasm for her newfound faith tempers the sting of their rejection.
When Kat discovers SouledOut Community Church, she longs to become a part of the multi-cultural church family. But her tendency to say whatever she’s thinking and her eccentric ways step on the toes of nearly everyone she meets—especially Avis Douglass, a woman she admires but who seems distant.
Avis is known for her mature faith and her reliance on listening to God more than people. Married to a kind and successful businessman, she is the principal of one of Chicago’s highest performing elementary schools, and a founding and active member of SouledOut. But the country’s economic downturn has thrown both her and her husband’s jobs in question. And Avis hasn’t heard from her youngest daughter in months—an estrangement that gnaws at her every day. Where is God in all this?
Kat’s flamboyant zeal for living a “radical” Christian life is a stark contrast to Avis’s quiet crisis of faith. But in God’s own mysterious ways, the two women discover they need each other in ways neither of them expected.

I have heard of the Yada Yada Prayer Group book series, but I have never read any of them. I didn't realize that Neta Jackson was also the author of those books when I downloaded my complimentary copy of Stand By Me through Thomas Nelson Publishing's Booksneeze blogger program in exchange for an honest review. However, I have heard good things about the Yada Yada series, so I was excited when I discovered that connection. Avis Douglass is a character from the series, and apparently we get a deeper understanding of her through this book. I think I would enjoy going back and reading the Yada Yada series now that I have been introduced to the characters. Personally, I found Kat to be a little bit annoying, but that was good because it helped me empathize with Avis' annoyance of her. By the end of the book Neta had me rooting for both women to find what they needed. I am glad that this is the first in a series, and look forward to more about these ladies in the future.

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