Monday, June 3, 2013

Abandon Not My Soul by Sherye Simmons Green (Book One in The Timothy House Chronicles)

Abbie Richardson and Keith Haliday have each suffered devastating loss in their lives. Both share a common link-Abbie's dead husband, Joe. Four years after his death, Abbie still struggles to put the pieces of her life back together. An unexpected offer to join the faculty of Timothy House, a unique residential school located in eastern Tennessee, forces Abbie to take a long, hard look at her life.
A mysterious letter and a serendipitous meeting at Camp 4Ever, the school's summer camp, bring Abbie face to face with Joe's old college friend, Keith. Slowly putting his life back together after the loss of his wife and two children, Keith is learning to rebuild his trust in God one step of faith at a time.
Can Abbie accept the goodness of God? Can Keith overcome his fear of losing someone he loves once more? Can Abbie be persuaded to open her heart again-to God's love and Keith's? Abandon Not My Soul is the story of how hope and forgiveness saves them both.
"Abandon Not My Soul is an incredible story of a journey from despair to hope, betrayal to risk, fear to trust. Sherye Green weaves a beautiful tale of grace, reconciliation, purpose, and hope."
-Dr. Ron Mumbower, Counseling and Congregational Care Pastor,
Founder/Director of Summit Counseling Ministry,
First Baptist Church, Jackson, Mississippi

My take on this book:
Abbie Richardson teaches junior high at Kent Academy in McHenry, Tn. Married for twenty one years to her husband Joe, his unexpected death four years ago, along with the knowledge that he had been living a double life of sorts not only left her in a financial strain but also shook her foundation to the core, making her wonder if she will ever be able to trust someone enough to ever open her heart again. She stayed strong for her son Drew, but now after four years she finds herself  questioning what her purpose in life might be. When a job offer comes about to work at Timothy House, she is unsure but decides to volunteer for a week at Camp4Ever that takes place at Timothy House. When she meets an old college friend of Joe's, Keith Haliday, who is working there it seems as if they both have more in common than they realize. God is at work in the lives of  these two, but are they ready for what God has in store? Can Abbie ever find a way to open her heart again, and allow God to show her the path he intends for her, and how does Keith fit into those plans?

"Abandon Not My Soul" was such a spiritually uplifting story of the power of prayer, the beautiful gift of friendship and how God never leaves or forsakes us, but instead guides us to where we need to be when we need to be there! Sherye Simmons Green created characters that were so easy to relate to. I felt like Abbie's story could have been any woman's story, not only losing her husband,but realizing he had done things that she wasn't aware of, and while what he did hurt her financially, it was the spiritual hurt that he inflicted upon her and her son Drew that was the hardest to combat. It was Abbie's faith in God and her friends from her quilting group "Loose Threads"  who were her prayer warriors that really pulled her thru. We watch Abbie go from someone who felt betrayed and unsure to someone who slowly decided to let go and let God take the lead. Another layer to the story was Camp4Ever and the story of Chloe Minton, I only hope we see more of this young lady in future books. "Abandon Not My Soul" is a story that will resonate with many because it deals with betrayal, loss,becoming a single mother, friendship, faith, hope, and love. A soul stirring story that not only inspires, but will remind the reader of God's faithfulness and love!

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