Religion

BENEATH HIS SILENCE by Hannah Linder

Posted on Updated on

I am a Bookshop.org affiliate. If you make a purchase by clicking through the links in this post, I will receive a commission, and Bookshop.org will donate a matching commission to independent booksellers. For more information, see my “About” page.

I received an Advance Reader Copy of this book from the publisher in order to write this review.

Ella arrives at Wyckhorn Manor hoping to succeed in the soul-consuming mission her late father did not live long enough to complete: proving that Lord Sedgewick murdered her sister.

From the moment she meets Lord Henry Sedgewick, it is clear her sister made a mistake in marrying him. He is cold, aloof, and admits he never even loved Lucy. Ella assumes a false name and takes a position as governess to Henry and Lucy’s young son, hoping to get to know her nephew and gather proof of Henry’s iniquity. Yet under his distant exterior, Ella is surprised and somewhat alarmed to find a compassionate, generous, devoted Christian who begins gently prodding her doubting soul back toward the faith. But Henry and Wyckhorn Manor hold dark, guilty secrets, and though neither Henry nor Ella know it, they are both in grave danger of losing their hearts, their lives, and everything they hold dear.

This Gothic, Bronte-esque Christian Regency Romance packs suspense and emotional drama alongside a sweet (clean) courtship and each protagonist’s arc toward self-forgiveness. The Christian elements are prominent—a journey toward conversion—making this title ideal for readers who enjoy both Christian Fiction and Regency Romance rather than either in isolation. If you are a reader of both categories, I can highly recommend this story as immersive, exciting, and emotionally satisfying.

AMEN? QUESTIONS FOR A GOD I HOPE EXISTS by Julia Rocchi

Posted on Updated on

I am a Bookshop.org affiliate. If you make a purchase by clicking through the links in this post, I will receive a commission, and Bookshop.org will donate a matching commission to independent booksellers. For more information, see my “About” page.

I received an Advance Reader Copy of this book from the publisher in order to write this review.

Additional disclaimer ( / brag!): My friend wrote this book!!

What if I don’t believe in you?

What if I don’t trust you?

Is this thing on?

Through personal essays, poetry, and prayers, Rocchi, a self-described progressive Christian, shares her doubts and hopes about the existence of a loving God and how her desire for divine love transforms her relationships and community with fellow humans. Eschewing theological argument in favor of emotion and personal connection, she weaves a compelling case that doubting yet spiritually-motivated readers are not alone in the universe–not because God exists but because fellow doubters, seekers, and hopers are out there asking the same questions, grappling with the same contradictions, and longing for something bigger than humanity alone.

Although Rocchi avoids gendering God or addressing prayers to Jesus Christ, Biblical references and her acknowledged “liturgical language” of Roman Catholicism center the text for a Christian audience. A standout chapter traces the evolution of a relationship from a single longing through marriage which serves both as a metaphor for relationship with a divine being and as an opening for patience and spiritual trust in one of the most universal experiences of human life. I’d recommend this title to readers who identify (however loosely) with a Christian tradition and are looking for a relatable contemplative voice to enliven their spirituality. A great opportunity for reflection!