Journal

Review: Faith in Forgiving by Jessy Rei

One reason that I enjoy reading Christian fiction so much is because I can relate to the characters so well (most of the time at least). Quite often, those characters are struggling with something that I have struggled with as well in my own relationship with God.

Unfortunately, even a handful of books that I have read from Christian authors and/or Christian publishing houses don’t have anything that makes them too much different from some of the other secular authors I read (after all, I tend to stick with pretty clean novels). I guess that might be one reason that someone might choose to go with the self-publishing route. Jessy Rei’s novel, Faith in Forgiving, would not have the same message if God was taken out of it or made any less in it.

Also, don’t forget to look at the bottom of this post for how you can enter for a chance to win a print copy of Kim Vogel Sawyer’s Through the Deep Waters!

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From Barnes and Noble: 

Forgive and forget – a very familiar cliché with two very difficult action words in the dictionary. But Faith Yanzon’s story tells how to forgive without really forgetting. It will make you realize that your past heartaches are meant to be remembered because it might be helpful for the future heartaches of the people you love. Her 10th birthday was the beginning of her faith battle. Witness her journey as she tries to find faith in forgiving.

For whatever reason, while I was reading this story, I was reminded of some of the books I have read that are compiled of vignettes. Each chapter is almost like it’s own little story. Once reaching the second half of the book, the chapters build on each other a bit more. There was a clear message in this book. One that makes a good reminder to all of us.

There were things about this novel that I enjoyed, and other parts that I struggled with. I haven’t had too many opportunities to read books from authors outside of the US and Canada. Jessy Rei is from the Philippines, and on occasion I struggled with a bit of a language/culture barrier (one example that comes to mind is that a break room is called the pantry). None of these were things that I couldn’t figure out, but they would hang me up from time to time.  Once in awhile the dialogue also did not read quite as natural to me, but I might chalk that up to a difference in language as well. One aspect that I did appreciate though, was using Filipino terms that show respect in the novel. While there weren’t explanations in the text, I picked up on them easy enough to figure out what they were (there was a glossary at the end of the novel as well).

My other struggle had to do with the pacing of the novel. At important moments, it felt that it was a bit rushed, and the other scenes took their time or seemed paced appropriately. The point of this story is centered around forgiveness. Jessy Rei doesn’t shy away from using an extremely difficult situation to demonstrate the importance of forgiveness. It is hard to wish bad things on good characters sometimes, but things happened almost a bit too neatly in the novel. When it came time for the main character to act, sure she had nerves, but it felt like that was it for the struggle she had.

The message of this book is an important one. I’m glad I read it myself even if just for the reminder. I also found it refreshing to read a story that centered on an aspect of our relationship with God and how that should look to other people.

For more on the author or this book, please check out the following links:

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**I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review**

 

Don’t forget to enter for a chance to win Through Deep Waters by Kim Vogel Sawyer. This is a wonderful book. Click on the book cover for more details.Contest is open until Aug. 20.

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