The Undoing of Saint Silvanus
By Beth Moore
Published: 2017, Tyndale House Publishers
Genre: Literature, Fiction
Sergeant Cal DaCosta glanced at the digits on his dashboard as he threw the car into park. “Sheesh. Eighty-four degrees and barely daylight. That body’s going to be ripe.” Several patrol cars were already at the scene, zigzagged all over the pavement.
My book club decided that this month we were going to read Beth Moore’s first publication of a fiction book. I was not all that excited about this choice because I am not a fan of Beth Moore. However, there have been books chosen for book club that I would never have given a second glance had I not had to read them for book club, and I ended up enjoying them quite a bit. I went into this book dragging my feet, but determined to read it.
I will start off by saying, since this was a book from Beth Moore, I was expecting quite a bit. However, there is a huge difference between writing non-fiction and bible studies and trying to write a fictional mystery suspense book.
The book begins with a subplot and then moves forward with the actual basis of the novel. As I started reading through the book, I wondered what this subplot really had to do with the main story line. It somewhat fit within the book, and yet it just didn’t quite fit into the puzzle. I found the subplot pretty boring and unnecessary; and the manner in which it was written did not really fit within the pages of the novel.
As the author works us through the family history of Jillian, we meet a few characters along the way that influence how she moves forward. I quite enjoyed some of the secondary characters of the book, especially Adella, who added a bit of humor and spice to it all.
I thought the majority of the story line was somewhat predictable; more so then the usual mystery suspense novel. As I was reading through it, I had the feeling that I get when I am watching a “B” movie; the thoughts and the effort was there, but it just wasn’t quite working.
I was also disappointed in the spiritual aspect of the novel. Seeing that it was written by Beth Moore, I was expecting a beautiful spiritual journey that would lead Jillian through the mystery of her family’s past. It just wasn’t there. The spiritual journey was hardly there, we didn’t get to see how God worked through Jillian’s troubled past or how he healed her brokenness. It just sort of happened. I expected a lot more and was left dissatisfied with this aspect of the book.
I tried really hard not to have high expectations of this book, however, it IS Beth Moore and you cannot just go into reading one of her books without some sort of anticipation of greatness. If you are hoping for excellence, you will be greatly disappointed.
This next section was added after my book club met and includes some thoughts and opinions of others on the book and how the discussion may have changed my perspective of the book.
There were some mixed reviews between the ladies which caused quite a bit of quality discussion. Some of the ladies enjoyed the book, some thought it was just okay, while others didn’t particularly care for it.
The ladies decided that while the subplot didn’t completely fit in with the rest of the novel, it did give a history of the building and it did have a tiny minuscule of significance in the book. However, it was not a necessary part of the book.
For the most part, we all agreed that Adella was a favorite character, that much of the writing was very “southern” and “Beth Mooreish”. Many also thought that there were a lot of unanswered questions and many characters and story lines that needed to have more added depth to them.
As far as the spiritual aspect, the fact that I was expecting more, there were a couple of other ladies that had the same feeling. However, one of the ladies made a good point; perhaps the author was writing a book that introduced Christ and a spiritual journey in an easy, not overly religious way so that she could reach the unreachable.
While there was not a consensus that this was a wonderful work of literature, what we could all agree on is that it was a wonderfully light-hearted, easy introduction to Jesus for someone who may be seeking or open to hearing about Him.
If you know someone looking for an easy read, that has a lightweight introduction to Jesus, then this is a great book to give them.
If you are interested in giving Beth Moore’s very first work of fiction a try, you can grab it using my link below. Who knows, seeing that it is her first, it may be worth some money in the future. 😉
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