Friday, February 12, 2010
Tiffany Warren's In The Midst of It All
All her life, Zenovia has struggled with the burden of caring for her schizophrenic mother, Audrey, alone. Until one day, God seems to offer support in the form of two members of a church called the Brethren of the Sacrifice, who knock at the women's door preaching an unconventional version of the Gospel. Despite having questions, Zenovia agrees to join the church along with her mother. Soon afterward, Audrey stops taking her medication when fellow churchgoers deem her illness a demonic possession. Unable to watch her mother's mental deterioration, Zenovia flees town, only to receive a fateful phone call several years later telling her of her mother's suicide. Heartbroken, Zenovia must now make a soul-altering choice: accept "God's will," or return home to confront the demons she's worked so hard to leave behind....
My Review: 5 of 5 Stars
Tiffany Warren’s expertly drawn characters climb into your heart and take hold of your spirit.
We meet Zenovia Batiste, a fifteen year old whose life has been burdened with the load of caring for her schizophrenic mother, and whose spirit has been pillaged by a church that has distorted the essential doctrines of Christianity. Readers follow Zenovia from high school, to college and into her late twenties as she finds and loses love and faith over and over again in her quest for a little happiness and a lot of peace.
Warren does not handle the problem of false teaching with kid's gloves in this novel, or the complex issues around mental illness. Zenovia’s life is no cakewalk. She’s forced to deal with a lot of bad stuff, thus her very cynical outlook on life and the church. The beauty of the book is that through various subplots the reader watches the underworld of a cult-nous religion unfold in front of them. The story is filled with page after page of the poison that infects the minds of those who earnestly want to serve in the Christian church, but are enslaved by a gospel twisted by men. There was also a healthy dose of romance, which had me on the edge of my seat. I found myself dying to know will they, or won't they; I really didn't know which way it would go. Great writing.
In the Midst of It All is a timely novel, a worthwhile journey and an amorous read. Warren touches the reader’s emotions on all levels and had me thinking about the characters way past the ending. It will easily be one of my favorites for 2010.
More about Tiffany at her website www.tiffanylwarren.com