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4.4 out of 5 stars
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Showing 1-5 of 5 reviews(4 star).Show all reviews
on October 10, 2003
This book is about a minister who takes a dying church and builds it up. Unfortunately, Paul, the minister, gets overly ambitious and tries to follow in the footsteps of his father. As a result, he goes about building the church up in the wrong way, by watering down the Bible and catering to the congregation and what they want to hear, instead of what they should be hearing. He hurts many people along the way, such as Samuel, Stephen, his wife, his son, and his mother, until finally, everything comes crashing down around him.
Francine Rivers does an excellent job of describing what can happen to a church and its people if the person leading is not following God. She goes into great detail describing the pain of Paul's family and friends as a result of his actions. I like how she gives the background of Paul's father and how his father has strongly influenced Paul's actions.
There were a couple of flaws in this book, however, which is the reason I can't give the book 5 stars.
First, where did Eunice grow up: Pennsylvania or Kentucky? I thought she mentioned that Eunice grew up in the hills of Kentucky, but then, later in the book, she mentioned that Eunice grew up in the hills of PA and that she even ran away there towards the end of the book. I know that Samuel and Abby lived in Kentucky, so maybe she got the 2 confused.
Also, how did Paul's father die? There wasn't a lot of explanation there, other than he died traveling to do something that he loved. I think she mentioned an accident, but that didn't come out too clearly in the book.
Like some of the reviewers here, I would have liked to have seen the book expanded another 100 pages to describe the reconciliation process between Paul and Eunice, and all the people he hurt. It seemed that it all happened too quick. It would have been interesting to see Paul and Eunice in marriage counseling, where Eunices gets right down to all the rage she's feeling, and also, for Paul to examine his relationship with his father and how it influenced his decisions.
All in all, this book was well written. I would highly recommend this, especially to all preachers, church leadership, and their families.
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on July 9, 2003
Here I sit bleary eyed, teary eyed and thankful. Ms. Rivers has provided me with another book full of mirrors, drawing me to look closer at myself, my relationships with the people I love and with God himself. A few things tied up too neatly for me, and I never recovered from the slap Paul gave Eunice partway through. NEVER. Eunice's reaction to that (or lack or a reaction) turned her back into character instead of a person.
In fact, neither Paul or Eunice rang true for me in many sections--she was too good and he was too bad. It'd take more than a jackrabbit to wake that guy up. Well, maybe not, God can do anything or I wouldn't be writing this. I think Stephen came across as the most believable, which strange since I'm a woman and I've never been an alcoholic, but he, Samuel and a minor character, Karen Kessler came across as real. Stephen's ex-wife too and the blame game they played.
But Lois and Eunice lived up to the biblical namesakes a little too much for me. Timothy turned out to be a great kid. The elder Hudson was a piece of work. The effect of parent's expectations on their children definitely hit home.
But all in all, it was just Francine, doing her thing, being herself, being honest that I loved. She got preachy in spots but the real deal on other pages balanced the scales some. Why aren't there more "real" Christian books? Maybe these publishers should visit some of the churches in America and talk to their buying public. These people have real problems. And not just the parishoners--the leadership on down. Let art do it's job, to just be and let people take from it what God put there for each of them.
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on October 14, 2003
I always enjoy Francine Rivers. She is an excellent writer and she always gets to the heart of the matter-who is the Lord of your life-you or God? I read a review that said that the plot is unbelievable because of a turning point involving a jack rabbit. However, if God can change a man who was killing and persecuting Christians on his way into town (Paul) I think he could do it to Francine's Paul Hudson with a jack rabbit if He chose to. I never underestimate the power of God to radically change lives and He often does it in an unexpected way. I always enjoy how Francine Rivers uses her characters in her novels to illustrate Biblical principles, bring to life Bible stories, and to bring us face to face with our own sin and our desperate need for Jesus.
I recommend this book and any other book by Francine Rivers. You won't be able to put it down until you have read it from cover to cover.
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on June 8, 2004
This is a story line that is very true to the condition of the church today. It's time to get back to godliness. There were many times when I would have liked to smack Paul Hudson for being so horrible to his wife. And when he slapped her... well let's just say I wanted to choke him (I know, I know, not very christian). Eunice Hudson annoyed me too. She was too accomodating of her husbands temper tantrums. And Paul's father-Sheesh! What a wolf in sheeps clothing! Well, this was another fascinating story from Francine. Good job!
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on April 20, 2013
totally loved this book. it shows us how our ambitions can get in the way of God's. I've recommended thjs book to others.
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