Darkness shattered by light: My review of Composing Amelia



Publisher: David C. Cook; New edition (September 1, 2011)

Amelia and Marcus have been married six months, living in L.A., working hard at two or three jobs to make ends meet, and waiting to realize their dreams - Marcus of becoming a pastor, and Amelia of becoming a professional pianist. When Amelia is offered her first job being paid to play piano for a theater group and Marcus is soon after offered a position as senior pastor of a church in Nebraska, their dreams collide. A decision to take three months to try out their new positions while temporarily living separately sparks a downward spiral in Amelia that she's unsure she'll recover from. Both Marcus and Amelia must face darkness from their past to wade through the present and discover if their marriage, and their faith, will survive.

Composing Amelia is the first book that I have ever read by Alison Strobel, and I was floored by her mastery of the English language, her ability to create complex and interesting characters, and her courage in tackling difficult issues, such as childhood neglect and mental illness. What I was most amazed about is that this novel deals with dark issues, descending into Amelia's heart and soul where we are greeted by Amelia's feelings of despair and hopelessness, and yet it still moves along at a good pace, such that I was entertained while left deep in thought. I did get impatient at one point in the second half, waiting for the moment when things would start turning around, but this is because I had grown to care about the characters and was anxious to see how the story would unfold.

Readers will be left enlightened about mental illness, while being stirred by the hope that comes by God's grace. I strongly recommend this book and give it 4.5 out of 5 stars.

An egalley of this novel was provided courtesy of the publisher via netgalley for the purposes of this unbiased review.

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