Monday, April 28, 2014

Caught in the middle

Mrs. Anne Tillerton only wanted to get away, live her life in peaceful safety away from uncaring  eyes that saw what they want and a dead husband whose life haunted almost as much as his death.

I have a confession to make.

I didn’t want to like Caught in the Middle by Regina Jennings.

Anne’s character made me bristle, but hear me out. It wasn’t her rough around the edges, speak her mind attitude. Like Nicholas, it made Anne that much more endearing when she allowed her true self to be shown in quieter moments with Sammy.
It felt uncomfortable reading a woman who’s life seemed to be a collection of clichĂ©s.

Nicholas also made me bristle. In the beginning he really came across a profit based, image driven man. When Anne confronted him on his faith being self-serving I almost wanted to cheer.
Here is the thing though, Jennings doesn’t leave her characters stuck in their flaws, she allows them to grow, change, and flourish through their experiences and faith bringing readers on a much more satisfactory journey than the first chapters ever could have hinted at. I’ll admit, I ever cried during the story’s climactic moments.

Jennings uses her characters both to lead readers on a journey with her characters – Anne as she learns to heal, forgive, and love as well as Lovelace as he learns to see the world and his priorities. However, she simultaneously uses those same characters to ask hard question about faith to her readers and the cost of love.

As a word of warning, I didn’t realize when I began this book that Caught in the Middle actually exists either in a series or as part of a world within Jennings collection of writings. As Anne slowly lets Nicolas (and the reader) into her abusive and broken past (which was actually quite well written for a Christian novel from a counselling perspective while remaining non-triggering), there are strong hints of the plots in both Sixty Acres and a Bride as well as Love in the Balance.  I truly believe this can be viewed as a read alone novel but for readers who enjoy the whole picture or just fall in love with Jennings style, those would be good books to keep in mind.

All in all i give this book 4 out of 5 stars.

I received this book for free from Bethany Publishing in exchange for my honest opinion

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