Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Monday Morning Faith by Lori Copeland

I am a big fan of Lori Copeland's fiction. Her books are usually light and funny and a joy to read. Monday Morning Faith doesn't fit that bill. Now let me quickly say it was a joy to read... a wonderful book... but far from light and funny (although there are some hilarious scenes!). In Monday Morning Faith, Copeland seems to step out a bit and present a look deep inside the heart... a heart satisfied with the Status Quo... a good heart... a heart that loves the Lord, lives a good life, does good things, sits in church every Sunday... but a heart that is satisfied to do just that... sit and not grow.

Johanna Holland is a never-married 40 year old librarian with a nice comfortable life... but all that is about to change. In a matter of weeks she goes from caregiver of her elderly parents to single lady with time on her hand.... and then Sam enters the picture. Sam is everything Johanna is not... at least she thinks he is. He is a widower with a call to missions... active hands-on missions in Papua New Guinea. And somehow he is able to convince Johanna to accompany him on a mission trip to this far away place.

We watch as Johanna attempts to adjust to life in the jungle among natives who speak no English with missionaries who haven't been able to break the language barrier with the natives. There are snakes... mud...monkeys... animals that are considered sacred and so can't be eaten...disease... crime (in a fashion)...heat... bugs... none of the comforts of home... isolation...

So does Johanna survive? Does she decide God is calling her to missions or does she decide He just wants her to stay home? I want give that part away, but I will tell you it is not what most of us would assume is going to happen. Copeland gives things a bit of a twist.

Throughout the book the reader is privy to Johanna's thoughts... to her struggles and questions ... her excitement and heartache... her anger and frustration... her love and compassion... I loved that the most. It was enthralling to me to watch everything play out inside her as I also watched things happening to her and around her.

Like I stated at the beginning, this is not a light and easy fun read. It certainly isn't difficult read, but it is a bit heavier than Copeland's normal fare.. and soo worth it! This is definitely one of the best books I have read this year. Very challenging, thought provoking and insightful.


Cecelia Dowdy said...

Wow! I've never read Copeland's novels, but I'll need to place this one in my TBR pile. Great review!

Christy Janes said...

This reminds me a bit of a book book by Deborah Raney called "Beneath a Southern Sky." It has a similar theme of missions, but with a lot of twists and turns between a young couple that haven't been married very long. It's been months since I read that book, and it is still sticking with me even now. This book by Lori Copeland sounds just right for me...I'll definitely have to check it out. :o)