Written with deep emotion: My review of "One Sunday" by Carrie Gerlach Cecil

about the book...

In this humorous and heartfelt novel, a beleaguered young woman must shed her career, identity, and power persona to learn how to love and forgive herself, others, and God.

At age thirty-seven, Alice Ferguson has everything an ambitious, intellectual, self-made woman could want. She has captured a career as an editor of a tabloid magazine, launched her own website full of Hollywood gossip, and even clawed her way into a second-hand pair of Prada shoes. She has also finally landed a husband—no small feat, as it required getting pregnant with his baby.

But when Alice becomes pregnant and experiences health problems, her world is turned upside down. To save her life and the life of her unborn child, she must leave Los Angeles and the stress of her bicoastal career, exchanging the late-night parties of sunny California for the suburbs of Nashville. With a weak smile and an even weaker heart, she soon finds herself living with a husband she barely knows, ensconced in a gated community brimming with perky, plastic, pony-tailed housewives. And then, at the gentle urging of a new friend, she agrees to attend church one Sunday afternoon.

What begins as an experiment beyond her comfort zone sparks something much bigger, as Alice begins to look deep within herself only to find insecurity, fear, and loneliness. One Sunday charts an endearing character’s journey from moral ambiguity through madness, tears, laughter, and heartbreak to a connection with the only One who can help heal her.

my review....

Starring a character who seems so real that it's almost like she's about to step out of the pages, One Sunday is a  book that is written with deep emotion. Readers are sure to find themselves in the pages, as Alice is depicted with utter realness with her human foibles and her struggles to overcome her past. I absolutely loved the African-American pastor and his family who are Alice's neighbors, and who convince Alice to come to church following a meal of fried chicken that Alice just can't pass up! It's so true how children seem to be able to easily connect with adults in talking about God, as they have no hidden motive, no agenda, and simply tell it the way it is. I appreciated their role in getting past Alice's defenses and convincing her to come to church.

I do have to say that my male mind found it difficult to appreciate the method used to tell this story, with the scenes continually flashing back and forth between past and present. I know that women can hold many things in their minds, are able to multi-task in a way I'll never understand. This may explain why the author offers a story that jumps back and forth, as likely women can hold all these story lines in their head and follow the plot no problem. But my poor male mind would just start getting into the present scene, when suddenly Alice would be reliving a past memory and then I'd start getting into that scene when things would flash back to the present. As such, I found it more difficult to connect with the story than I usually do. However, I must note that my wife has a different sense of such novels, and I am sure that other readers will have no problem with the manner in which the plot unfolds. Ultimately, this is a story worth reading, with a character who has a faith journey that is real and wonderful and concludes with Alice finding love and healing in the arms of God.

I give this story a rating of 3.5 out of 5 stars.

An advanced readers copy has been provided courtesy of Howard Books, for the purposes of this unbiased review.

about the author...

Carrie-CecilCarrie Cecil is the president of Anachel Communications, Inc., a corporate, entertainment and sports marketing, branding, and public relations company. Her previous novel, Emily’s Reasons Why Not, was developed into a television show for ABC.

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