Grace in the Shadows (Christine Dillon) – Review

Review Banner Grace in the Shadows

~ About the Book ~

Physiotherapist Esther has survived cancer, but wounds within her family remain unhealed. Is her revived faith the reason for the rift or could a simmering secret be the root cause?

Cosmetics consultant Rachel buried her past – and her father’s God – but the past refuses to stay buried. Will she continue to run or is confronting her pain the way to freedom?

Two women. Two different lives.
One collision course with truth.
Can God’s grace shine even in the darkest of shadows?

Genre:  Women’s Fiction
Series:  #2 Grace series
Release date:  31 July 2018
Pages:  312
Publisher:  Links in the Chain Press

Amazon US  //  Amazon AU  //  iTunes  //  Goodreads  //  Koorong

~ Excerpt ~

Naomi was out of bed and sitting in a chair. Esther kissed her forehead. “I’ve already heard you’re a star.”
“The physiotherapist was pleased. My frame and I didn’t break any speed records, but we managed to get to the door and back.”
“It’ll get easier every day. They won’t let you go home until you can walk up the three steps into the house.” Esther pulled her chair close. “How are you coping with the pain?”
“Nothing like childbirth, dear.”
Esther stifled a grin. If only all patients were of her grandmother’s generation. “Do you think you can cope with two extra visitors?”
“It depends what kind.”
“Joy and Gina.”
Naomi beamed. “They’re not visitors. They’re family. But I’ll need a catnap before they arrive.”
Esther draped a light blanket over Naomi’s knees. She’d made it through surgery, but she looked old and frail. Lord, I can’t bear to lose any more family.
She had a meal every week with her mum, and their relationship was better than ever, but she missed the easy relationship she used to have with her dad. She’d been such a daddy’s girl. She’d adored him. Strikingly handsome and full of enthusiasm. Sure, he was rarely at home, but when he was, he’d swing her round and say, ‘How’s my darling today?’
What daughter didn’t love to feel treasured by the most important man in her world? Last year had ripped them apart, and her monthly visits home were a strain, but she wasn’t giving up. He was still upset at her decision to leave Victory Church.
A spot of saliva dribbled out the corner of Naomi’s mouth. Esther’s chest tightened. Such a precious woman. How had she lived without her? There’d been no extended family in Esther’s life. No grandparents, no cousins, no uncles and aunts. The Macdonalds were a small clan, and Mum was an only child whose parents were long dead.
Maybe the loneliness of her childhood was why Esther had such a longing for an older sister. She’d never longed for a brother or even a younger sister. Only an older sister would do. She hadn’t known her hope was futile until she was eight and learned older sisters couldn’t be bought at the supermarket.
Naomi snuffled in her sleep. Perhaps she too dreamed of reconciliation. Lord, bring our family together before it is too late. Give Gran the desires of her heart.

~ Review ~

If you’re looking for a story that shows just how big an impact one person can have for the Gospel in their everyday life, look no further. Esther Macdonald will challenge you to make your daily interactions an opportunity to witness for Christ, whether that be by words or actions or both. In addition, you’ll get a poignant story of family secrets, returning prodigals, and the way in which God relentlessly pursues his children and covers them with his immeasurable grace. PS: It would be advisable to have a tissue or two on hand…

If you haven’t read the first book in this series, Grace in Strange Disguise, then I suggest you do so before you pick this one up. It tells the story of Esther’s battle against cancer and her struggle to understand why God hasn’t healed her, and you’ll have a better understanding of the tensions within her family, which become a significant part of this story.

Whereas Esther has allowed her trials to bring her close to God, Rachel rejected God years ago. But she’s about to find out what it means to be pursued by God, and it’s a compelling story as she is gradually, and often painfully, forced to unpack the emotional baggage she has been carrying around with her.

But perhaps the most interesting thing about this series is the way in which storytelling and questioning are used by Esther, Joy, and Gina in order to open up conversations about the Gospel. In fact, even to get to the heart of their own ongoing struggles and put their feet back on the right path when they slip. This is one of the most unashamedly evangelical novels I have ever read, and yet I never once felt like I was being preached at. I came away inspired to shine my light as brightly as Esther did, and to look for God’s goodness and joy even in the darkest shadows.

Dare I hope there might be more to come?

~ Previous Book in the Series ~

Read my review for Grace in Strange Disguise.
Read my interview with Christine Dillon.

~ About the Author ~

Christine DillonChristine never intended to become an author. If she ever thought about writing it was to wonder if she might write a missionary biography. So it was a surprise to her to write poetry, non-fiction and now be working on a novel.

Christine has worked in Taiwan, with OMF International, since 1999. It’s best not to ask Christine, “Where are you from?” She’s a missionary kid who isn’t sure if she should say her passport country (Australia) or her Dad’s country (New Zealand) or where she’s spent most of her life (Asia – Taiwan, Malaysia and the Philippines).

Christine used to be a physiotherapist, but now writes ‘storyteller’ on airport forms. She has written a book on storytelling and spends her time either telling Bible stories or training others to do so.

In her spare time, Christine loves all things active – hiking, cycling, swimming, snorkelling. But she also likes reading and genealogical research, as that satisfies her desire to be an historical detective.

Connect with Christine: Website  //  Facebook

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About Fiction Aficionado

Homeschooling mum, word lover, reader extraordinaire, and follower of Christ
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