What She Left For Me (October 2005 release)

Published By: Bethany House Publishers

Book Category: Fiction, Christian

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Reviewed by Andrea Sisco

In Tracie Peterson's newest novel, What She Left For Me, three generations of women who have experienced heartache, tragedy and abuse, find their way to forgiveness and help each other heal through God's love.

Jana McGuire returns from a three-week mission trip to Africa excited to share her pregnancy news with her pastor husband, Rob. When Jana arrives at the parsonage she learns that Rob has run away with his secretary, cleaned out their meager savings, taken most of their valuable belongings, and has stolen jewelry left to her by a relative.

With the new pastor arriving, Jana has four days to vacate the parsonage. She has no job, little money, few personal belongings and a baby on the way. Her only option is to turn to the mother who has continually rebuffed her and emotionally abandoned her.

Jana's mother, Eleanor is haunted by a childhood of betrayal that she has been unwilling to share with anyone—and it has taken its toll on all of her relationships. It is the delightful and eccentric aunt who will weave God's love through the lives of these two estranged women.

Peterson's novel deals with the difficult topics of infidelity, incest, and rape from the view that they are areas that are reaching epidemic proportions in and out of the church. She writes about the issues openly, honestly and respectively with the idea that the faith community must confront these issues in order to better help the survivors.

An author warning: "Mothers and other caregivers will need to decide if the story is appropriate for their teenage girls." This is a thoughtful addition that will be appreciated by everyone. While this might be considered an adult novel, certain teenagers will be able to read it and benefit from the story. I would suggest that mothers and teenagers read it and then discuss it.

Armchair Interviews says: Kudos to Peterson for having the courage to deal with these delicate subjects in such a respectful manner, and while doing so, she still manages to educate and give us a good read.

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