About a year ago my friend, Cecelia Dowdy, wrote a review for this book on her blog (http://ceceliadowdy.blogspot.com/2007/03/sounding-brass-by-shelley-bates.html ). I was intrigued and added it to my "get this book to read" list. So I popped it onto my wish list at Paperback Book Swap and a few weeks ago someone listed it and I got it. I have to make a plug for PBS. It is a great way to "recycle" books. You post your books when you are done reading them. If someone wants one, you say OK.... print a label and mail it off at your cost (which runs about $2.00). And you earn 1 point. For each point you get to choose a book that is in the system and have it mail to you. You pay nothing for that book. Technically the books aren't free, since you have to pay postage when you send yours, BUT $2.13 is cheaper than more books out there.
I will add that PBS is normally my 2nd resort. I usually look at my local library first. A library is a wonderful thing and often underutilized. If you haven't been to a library in years, you might be surprised at what you will find there. Many off the ability to search their stacks online and even put in requests via the Internet. Mine even allows me to recheck books through their website.
Finding free or cheap books is much easier than you think!
So on to the review.... What peaked my interest in this book is one of the things Cecelia liked best about it.... it centered around a cultish church. I have always been a bit fascinated with cults, whose beliefs seem so ridiculous to me and yet people who seem normal follow them wholeheartedly.
In A Sounding Brass, we see a group of people who have lived their lives tied to The Elect only to find it shattering before their eyes. The leadership has been arrested and is on trial, a new charismatic lay-leader is introducing new ideas into the fellowship and many are feeling rejected by their faith and unsure of what they to believe.
This book grabbed hold of me from the start... it took me 2 days to read it, but only because I had to eat and sleep and take care of my family! LOL! One thing I wish I had known.. this is book 3 of a trilogy. It is, in my opinion, able to stand alone. The author does a great job weaving in the necessary background material without making it sound like a quick summary paragraphs stuck in to catch up the reader.
There is nothing on the book cover or in the book telling us it is book 3... I found out when I did a search on Shelley Bates to see what other books she has written. I have book 1 from the library -- Grounds to Believe and Book 2 is on my wish list at PBS (since the library doesn't have it) -- Pocketful of Pearls.
This is a wonderful book... the writing is excellent... the story intriguing... the characters rich and real.