Thursday, August 13, 2015

On Shifting Sands

Title: On Shifting Sand
Author:  Allison Pittman
Pages:  416
Year:  2015
Publisher:  Tyndale
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.
The story is told from the main female character named Nola who lives in Oklahoma with her husband Russ and two young children.   As I began reading I remembered a movie I watched which depicted quite realistically the Dust Bowl conditions of the land many years ago.  The Dust Bowl is used as a setting by the author to depict both a physical as well as spiritual realities of what life is like without care, watering, proper stewardship and more.  Nola is struggling as a ministers wife feeling like she is always second to the needs of those in the church.  After each storm the people of the small town would gather at the church to pray as well as count heads to see if any people were missing.
As time goes on not only does the town population diminish but so does the heart of Nola.  When she is at her lowest point she rationalizes her choice to commit a sin which leads her despair all the while it seems her husband never notices.  The hurt feelings Nola experiences and loneliness for time with Russ her husband brings to drive a wedge into her marriage and makes her blind to the rationalization she uses when she chooses not to flee from temptation.
Later in the story it was really awesome in the way the author uses descriptions to help readers visualize the depth of need for God in our hearts.  There is hope in the novel by the ending and depicts that while marriage is not all roses there is always a choice to draw near to God during the times of thorns, or hardship.  Forgiveness can be easily spoken even requested but when Nola really sees with new eyes the depth of her sin, she finally faces the hard task of bearing it all to her husband.
Unlike other novels the authors doesn’t rap the tale up in a pretty bow, but leaves the ending open for reasons which she shares in the author’s notes section.   Any person who has been married for a time knows that times of drought come and they are no picnic, nor are they pain free.   Yet, there is always a choice before both the husband and the wife to completely honest with the Lord and each other.  In the novel we see Nola had to honest about her reoccurring affair and her choice to participate in the sin.  Russ has a part of his soul that needs forgiveness and healing too but I will let you discover that as you read this very captivating book.
Note:  I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book from  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility. 

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