Book Review: Sweet Sanctuary by Sheila Walsh & Cindy Martinusen Coloma

Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: August 9, 2011

During summer vacation when Wren was a child, an unexpected tragedy forever alters her relationship with her family. Years later, Wren's grandmother Ruth determines to bring the family together in the hope that the past can be overcome. In the process, Wren learns to forgive and be forgiven, and she begins to break down the walls that have protected her heart, finding new love and the courage to sing again.

Wren's story is beautifully written, gently drawing the reader through her past hurts and disappointments and towards a satisfying conclusion. I did find some parts of the story slow to develop and somewhat predictable, but those readers who appreciate a contemporary novel told at an unhurried pace will enjoy Sweet Sanctuary. The plot managed to keep my interest, and the elements of faith in the story were deftly handled. I found my own Christian walk challenged when Wren was reflecting on how fully she'd allowed God to receive her and realizes “she thought she'd given her life to Him, but it was like jumping into a pool and clinging tightly to the side”. How often this seems true of all of us who are pressing onward to the prize. This novel is a solid recommendation. 4 of 5 stars.

Thanks to the publisher for providing me with a free copy of this book for review purposes via Booksneeze and netgalley.