Psalm 27:1

The Lord is my light and my salvation—
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid?

Friday, December 30, 2016

Of Stillness and Storm Book Review

SUMMARY:  "I felt torn between two worlds.  Each with its own mystery.  One more captivating than the other, but the other more real and breathing."
     It took Lauren and her husband ten years to achieve their dream - reaching primitive tribes in remote regions of Nepal.  But while Sam treks into the Himalayas for weeks at a time, finding passion and purpose in his work among the needy, Lauren and Ryan stay behind, their daily reality more taxing than inspiring.  For them, what started as a calling begins to feel like the family's undoing.
     At the peak of her isolation and disillusion, a friend from Lauren's past enters her life again. But as her communication with Aiden intensifies, so does the tension of coping with the present while reengaging with the past.  It's thirteen-year old Ryan who most keenly bears the brunt of her distraction.
     Intimate and bold, Of Stillness and Storm weaves profound dilemmas into a tale of troubled love and honorable intentions gone awry.

REVIEW:  This book was hard and raw at times.  It wasn't the subject matter but the intensity, the depth, and the wringing of the emotions that were hard.  The author doesn't hold any punches.  She shows the difficulties missionaries face in country and balancing faith, life and the struggles with they don't line up with others.  Sam is determined to live the way the Nepalis do: no cell phones, no personal vehicle or luxuries such as a WiFi, a better water filtration system or air conditioning or central heat.  It works for him when he is off visiting the remote mountain tribes but Lauren and their son Ryan really struggle with the reality of life and living among a people with whom they have trouble communicating.  The emotions Lauren goes through as she tries to reach her son, who is retreating and rebelling as far away as he can, are heart wrenching.  She struggles with her own faith when her son faces impossible odds but I love how the author shows her raw hostility and the strengthening of her faith as she pursues the God she knows is there with her.
     This is a wonderful book that really made me think about my faith and the struggles missionaries face within their own families and the people they are trying to reach.  This is one I plan to keep and reread to mine its depths even deeper.

This Advanced Reader's Copy was provided by Litfuse Publicity Group, Fiction Guild 
and Thomas Nelson Publishers for review without any compensation.

Born in France to a Canadian father and an American mother, Miche'le Phoenix is a consultant, writer and speaker with a heart for Third Culture Kids.  She taught for 20 years at Black Forest Academy (Germany) before launching her own advocacy venture under Global Outreach Mission.  Miche'le travels globally to consult and teach on topics related to this unique people group.  She loves good conversations, mischievous students, Marvel movies, and paths to healing.  Learn more at or Twitter @frenchphoenix.

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