Journal

Jaded by Varina Denman

Usually, I’m pretty sure whether I want to read a book or not. Every once in awhile though, a book will show up that I feel conflicted about. There is something in the synopsis that makes me just as disinterested in it as I am interested. That was the case with this novel, Jaded, by Varina Denman. More often than not though, I find that I end up loving these stories. They often have a deeper truth with in their pages.

**I received a copy of this book from David C. Cook and NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.**

As a child, Ruthie was shunned by the local congregation. Thirteen years later, Ruthie’s heart begins to stir when an attractive single preacher arrives. But their relationship is bitterly opposed—unearthing a string of secrets which threaten to turn the church, the town, and her world upside-down.

Jaded is the rare novel that is both love story between a woman and man … and God and His church. Plunging deep into the waters of shame, forgiveness and restoration, it will resonate with every woman who’s experienced a loss of heart … and a thirst for hope.

“No matter the task you’re up against, remember two things. Enjoy the experience because you might never do it again, and learn from, it because you probably will.”

-Jaded

Characters: It took me a little bit to feel like I could connect with Ruthie in this novel. By the end though, I was sad to end my time with her. Some of the other characters in the book, especially the Cunninghams, were people that I enjoyed seeing their names come across the page. Overall, this novel had very well developed characters that were dealing with some very complex problems.

Storyline: I loved this novel because of some of the hard truths that it dealt with. More often that not, Christians tend to act the least Christ-like–and this novel definitely portrayed that. From the prologue it was clear that this town, and specifically a church had some secrets and a lie that wouldn’t lay dormant. Curiosity drove me forward, and in doing so, made me question my own heart and how I would have acted in the same situation.

My Thoughts:  By the time I finished this story, I was impressed. There were some humorous moments sprinkled throughout that I enjoyed, but I also really enjoyed the larger message this book has to offer. This is a book that I would highly recommend to anyone who enjoys Christian fiction with a strong message within the pages.

About the Author:

An avid reader and blogger, Varina Denman enjoys writing fiction about Christian women and the unique struggles they face. She seems to have a knack for describing small town life, and is currently working on a three book Texas series which will soon be published by David C. Cook. The first book in the series, Jaded, won the 2013 ACFW Genesis contest for romance.

Varina attended three Texas universities over a span of five years, majoring in four subjects and earning zero degrees. However, she can now boast sixteen years as a home educator, volunteering in the local cooperative where she has taught numerous subjects including creative writing and literature.

Even though Varina has spoken at ladies’ retreats and taught women’s Bible classes, she finds the greatest fulfillment facilitating prayer groups. She lives in Burleson, Texas, where she helps with Family Ministry in her home congregation. Varina is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and North Texas Christian Writers.

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