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Face to Face: A Novel Paperback – July 15, 2004
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I was fascinated. --Eva Marie Everson, CrossWalk.com
Very impressive and easily readable debut novel ... compelling from its opening passage. --The Boox Review
Well-written - pulls you in ... I felt as if I was in the mind of Joakima. ... I devoured each word. --Bridgette Moore, E-pinions.com
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Face to Face is a hidden jewel of a book. Lawton's creative imagination is immense, leaving the reader with little doubt that the story as Lawton tells it is perfectly true. This is a book to read in order to better understand the meaning of suffering and the boundless grace of God. Get a copy. You will be glad that you did.
I have been accustomed to getting "into" the minds of Bible characters, but I was completely overwhelmed at the story of Joakima. Lawton gently opens up the mind and heart of this woman who had lost almost everything...and as I read, I felt I was seeing the world through the eyes of the afflicted woman ~ unable to see the skies and trees and faces of those she encountered. She suffered not only from the physical ramifications of a severe illness, but from the emotional torture of being misunderstood by all around her, possibly the very worst sort of pain. She was gossipped about, laughed at, teased, and pitied on a daily basis.
By the time she finally and quite dramatically met Jesus the Christ, and rose up to greet Him face to face, I found myself unable to hold back the tears of joy. In my quiet living room, thousands of years after that day and far from the crowd of people gathered in thes synagogue, I praised God...and was immediately drawn into a time of meeting Him face to face myself.
I am telling people about this strong and Spirit-filled book.
Suddenly, in the very shadow of the Temple, disaster strikes. Joakima's simple, happy life is tragically shattered. Grief-stricken and grotesquely crippled, she is left alone to care for her infant son. Throughout the bitter nightmare of pain-filled days and sleepless nights, Joakima clings to a slender thread of hope...the stirring words of the prophet Isaiah: "Shake off your dust; rise up, sit enthroned, O Jerusalem. Free yourself from the chains on your neck, O captive Daughter of Zion." And then one day, Joakima comes face to face with Jesus, and is forever changed.
Catherine Lawton's vivid writing breathes life into an obscure woman of faith...one whom Jesus called "a daughter of Abraham." Face to Face is a story that will stay with you long after the last page is read.