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Almond Street Mission Paperback – September 14, 2016
"Children of Blood and Bone"
Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut. Pre-order today
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Sometimes I felt like there wasn’t enough background or history given to understand the characters well and to follow some of the story lines. I think more attention could have been given to that and that the book could have done with a bit more depth and true character growth and development. A little more time spent in the minds of the characters as they were working through some of their struggles, more time spent letting the reader in on the change as it was happening in a character, rather than someone preaching at someone else and then without much other insight into the character or situation, that character suddenly ready to know God or suddenly ready to change their actions.
I felt like more background could have been given that would have made the Caleb’s story better—more insight and depth into who he was before, what really led to him doing that ministry. Some things were just too briefly touched on, making it feel like there was some depth lacking.
I also felt like Glorilyn’s character needed more development and more insight into the process of her going from childishly refusing to speak to “Jer” and hear anything he had to say (even to the point of claiming that he rejected her when he was practically begging her to talk to him, and she was, in actuality, the one rejecting him) to suddenly being past her issues. We didn’t get much view into the process that got her to that point. Some friends tried to talk to her here and there, but she would shut down and not seem to listen. Then suddenly at the end, she says she’s been thinking and realized that she’s been letting her past affect her future. It made the change seem somewhat unbelievable and like it came out of nowhere. I wanted more from her, more of seeing her truly internally deal with her struggle with her dad from her past instead of feeling like she went from one position to another just like that.
Caleb’s disguise and the program he’s a part of is an interesting concept for the book. I could see how something like that could help, but I could also see it not working out well. To some homeless who discovered his secret , it might be encouraging to them that someone willingly took on the kind of life they had been living. To others though, it might upset them and make them believe Christians are not trustworthy. It could even make them resentful towards someone who would pretend to be homeless.
I’m not entirely sure that I really agreed with the way Caleb would come at people when presenting the gospel. He often seemed to just jump in and the words he used sometimes made it come across as though if these people would just accept Jesus, everything would be fixed and that’s just not the way it always works out. Yes, God never leaves or forsakes us, but no life is not perfect and happy all the time just because we have a relationship with Jesus. We still face struggles and things that need to be overcome. Knowing God doesn’t necessarily mean life is good and easy from then on and I think there could have been a little more clarity on that when he talked to people about God. With that being said, I did appreciate how his actions matched what he preached. He acted out the love of God that he talked about to others.
I did truly appreciate was that the author was willing to address the subject of the homeless and I felt like she did help in giving a little insight into what it looks like and feels like to be homeless. I very much appreciated how the heart of God toward the homeless (and really anyone) was portrayed. It served as a much needed reminder of his love and care for everyone.
**I received a copy of this book from the author and have chosen to review it. My opinions are my own.
I loved the character Jer also known as Caleb. He was such a compassionate person who genuinely cared for others. He heard a call on his life and accepted it with eyes wide open. I can’t imagine being homeless. Jer wanted to reach people who had been forgotten or shunned and I loved that he didn’t hesitate to walk among the homeless. He lived among them and I could feel his heart break as he heard their stories. Everyone has a story but some never get to tell it. Jer made sure they had a voice and listened to them. He did find himself in some dangerous situations, but he knew God would protect him.
The author writes a story that is real and shares scriptures through several characters. I have never been homeless but I have been abused, lonely, hurt, unloved and ashamed. The characters that Jer meets all have one thing in common which is they want to be loved. Oh how my heart ached as Tank shared how he knew his mom didn’t want him anymore. I know that feeling so well. It hurts to the core but for Tank he allowed Jer to speak life into him and showed him that he is loved by God.
Glorilyn was a wonderful character. She has a heart for the mission she volunteers at. When her brother turns up missing, the reality was verwhelming for her. She wanted her brother off the streets and I loved how she and Jer prayed for him. I found it interesting that she had a trust issue. I won’t give anything away, but it really will hit home for many. Trust is something many of us deal with and it goes hand in hand with forgiveness. As I read the book I truly understand homelessness better. We forget that those living on the streets are human. They are looking for that one person who will help and listen. I applaud the author for writing a story that takes us into the streets and helps us see through the eyes of Jesus that they are important and loved.
I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.
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Almond Street Mission shares several converging stories that serve as good...Read more
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