Monday, May 11, 2015

Horse in the Wilderness - A Review

Published - January 2013, Westbow Press
Author - Debbie Eckles
Title - Horse in the Wilderness
Format - paper, ebook, hardcover
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Autumn Parker wants to move out of her parents' home into their rent house. But before she is able to mention it to them, they inform her that they just rented the house to the new elementary music teacher. Brent Travis is a man trying to start over. He has left behind the faith he once claimed as his own and is desperately trying to have nothing to do with God. When he takes on the elementary music teacher role, he doesn't know what to think of the people in this small town. Surely they can't be real? Because the so-called Christians in his experience didn't actually show Christ's love. But as he gets to know the people, his students, and his landlord's family, Brent can't help but see the walls he built around his heart begin to crumble. Especially in light of unexplained vandalism, a young boy who likes to wander off, a horse that went missing, and Autumn who appears too good to be true.

I'm pretty sure that this is the first book I've ever read by this author. The only reason I picked it up was because Booklook Bloggers was offering an additional title published by Westbow Press in addition to any Thomas Nelson/Zondervan titles already requested. I figured, it's free, might as well give it a chance.

Overall, the story moved really slowly. I frequently had no inclination of picking it up to read. There was a good plot to the story, it's just that the author took forever to tell it. There is an overall theme of forgiveness in the story.

As much as the story line itself was rather interesting I did have several issues with the book. First, there seemed to be big gaps in the story. Like the reader was already supposed to know what was going on. Second, the author had relationships develop pretty much out of nowhere. And Brent's past, she treated it like it was some big secret, when it did explain why he was so cynical and hurting. Third, I don't think the target audience of the book would be mature adults. I felt that the book read more along the lines of a reading level of 7th or 8th grade.

Without a doubt, the author's views on several subjects are made glaring obvious such as divorce and the "traditional" church (services twice on Sunday, once on Wednesday, and EVERYONE must participate in some form at church).

Overall, I'd have to say that this book probably wasn't for me. I did receive a copy of the Kindle version from Booklook Bloggers for the purpose of reviewing. I was not required to like the book, only to give my honest opinion of it.

Recommended to fans of Love Inspired.

Rating - 3 stars

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