Torn between her husband's zeal and her son's despondence, Lauren must grapple with the fallout from Sam's uncompromising calling.
It was supposed to be an exhilarating life—reaching primitive tribes in remote regions of Nepal. But while Sam treks into the Himalayas for weeks at a time, Lauren and 13-year-old Ryan stay behind struggling to adjust to a jarring new reality.
At the peak of her isolation and disillusion, an extraordinary artist from Lauren's distant past enters her life again. As her communication with Aidan intensifies, so does the tension of coping with the present while reengaging with the past. But it is Ryan who most keenly bears the brunt of her distraction.
Intimate and bold, Of Stillness and Storm weaves profound dilemmas into a tale of troubled love and honorable intentions gone awry.
Review of Of Stillness and Storm
Of Stillness and Storm by Michele Phoenix is the powerful story of the Coventry family torn apart by the misguided faith of a father and desperate act of a son. Lauren and Sam met in Sternensee, Austria at Christschule where they were drawn to each other by their mutual faith and vision for a God centered life. Once back in the states their relationship flourished and they married, had a son and settled into what Lauren felt was a loving and prayerful life. But after several years Sam became restless and developed bigger plans for his family. Feeling God was calling him to do more, Sam decided to leave everything behind, take his family and move to Nepal where he could devote himself to bringing God to people in remote villages. Despite Lauren’s misgivings and their son Ryan’s protests, Sam moved ahead with his plans bringing his reluctant family in tow.
Unfortunately while Sam is convinced he is doing God’s will and living the dream of a lifetime, Lauren is left alone for weeks at a time to deal with an unhappy son who has not adjusted, but missing family and friends. When Lauren confronts Sam with his son’s unhappiness he refuses to see the emerging crisis playing out before his eyes. To complicate matters further, a man from Lauren’s past re-enters the picture leaving her to question all she’s known. As Lauren, Sam and Ryan drift further apart a tragic event occurs that will test Lauren’s and Sam faith and marriage. Lauren prays she can finally find the courage she needs to fight for her future and her son’s survival.
When I finished this book, I sat there for a while and all I could say was “Wow”! This novel was like a wave that starts out slow and steady far out in the ocean and then without warning crashes upon the shore. I was not sure where the author was leading me, but the last third of the book left me reeling. The feeling, depth and emotion of the characters in this book was palpable. I could feel Lauren’s frustration at her husband’s refusal to see how unhappy she and Ryan were. The more Ryan withdrew, the more his father dug in his heels. It was clear from the start that Sam had his own agenda and it was led by pride and selfishness. Sam was clearly doing his will not God’s. At times I was frustrated by Lauren constantly allowing Sam to put his needs before her and Ryan’s, but also understood her need to hold her family together. I cheered when Lauren finally found the courage and faith in the God she loved to put herself and her son first. Of Stillness and Storm was a beautiful novel that haunted me and tugged at my heart even after I turned the last page.
If you like Christian novels that tug at the heart and stay with you long after you read the last page then Of Stillness and Storm is for you. The characters are fragile, tender and gently flawed leaving you emotional but never bored.
I want to thank Thomas Nelson- Fiction via NetGalley for an advanced copy of Michele Phoenix Of Stillness and Storm for a fair and honest review.
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