Title: Free From Guilt
Author: Pat Simmons
Publisher: Lift Every Voice
This novel is written with an emphasis on ancestry, Jesus as Lord, and being completely surrendered to His will. The main characters are highly educated; work hard to succeed, with some learning that Jesus is what matters most. The author’s passion for family history is put to use by being a sleuth in discovering the stories behind the names via the lead male character. Strong family ties are also a major theme throughout this work of fiction. Even when choices are made contrary to the Word of God by the various players, the elements of forgiveness, humility, and restoration shine through.
The lead female character, Gabrielle, is portrayed as a woman of strong faith and a penchant for romance. While she works for an airport company as a supervisor, her relationship with the Lord is foremost. Gabrielle wants to meet a man who loves the Lord first and then her. The lead male character, Cameron, is about to challenge her strongest resolve. Her longing to love and be loved is shown in the back and forth battles of the heart her character goes through. Gabrielle has a brother who is an evangelist. While this is a work of fiction, one theme really stands out and that is to treasure people, pray that the Lord would help you see them as He sees them, love them as He does. In our flesh we can’t do anything, but in Christ we can do all things.
Cameron is a highly motivated and educated man, who mainly pays lip service to his walk with the Lord. Cameron’s view is that the work he has put forth is what has gotten him all the material things he owns. He is seen as being prideful and self-centered though easily turning on the charm once he determines what he wants or in this case who. Since Cameron has researched 10 generations of his family’s heritage, he is aware of an incident in the past that comes to the forefront when an uninvited guest attends a wedding. Cameron measures his walk with the Lord one way, but is it the way God sees it? Is Cameron all about show and tell without substance?
People are drawn to romance novels for many reasons; the unusual characteristic about this one is that it teaches. Through various characters makeup, lifestyles, and/or professions, the tension between the two characters comes down to their different levels of commitment to Christ. Various conversations within the novel are sprinkled with scripture verses or references that challenge everyone to have our speech seasoned always with salt, our mind and life centered upon His Word.
Relationships are part of our makeup because God made us to be in relationship with Him. When I started reading this novel, I struggled to get into the story. Yet, as I pressed on, I was glad when I began to capture the essence of the story and the many themes running throughout. Some of what I gleaned I shared above, but what will you enjoy about the novel? Is there anything that causes you to stop and think about God, His Word or your relationships?
My rating is 3 stars.
Note: I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book. The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility. Other reviews can be read at http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspot.com/ . Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/lisa.johnson.75457