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Illusions (Urban Christian) Paperback – January 27, 2009
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Deciding to follow her mother's one-sided advice, Denise keeps her husband's sorted secret and keeps up the appearances at church and when they're out in public. Soon, her life starts to spiral out of control. Unable to control her life, she tries to stay prayerful, but it's just no use. She had no idea how to handle her husband's problem, and lying was no longer an option. That was until Benny.
Benny was the Hightower's gardener, but he was also their last hope. When Benny just showed up, Bryce was a little hesitant to let him into his life. But the more persistent Benny became, the more of the wall that Bryce had belt was crumbling down. No one really understood what the real connection between Bryce and Benny truly was. Soon, everything comes together and you truly see how the Lord works.
Illusions by Wanda B. Campbell is one of the best books I have read in a long time. This book pulls on every emotion you could ever imagine. You laugh, you cry, and you scream like you would do if you were watching a very intense movie. Wanda B. Campbell dares to take this book to another level...a level that I don't think too many authors have really obtained. Illusions is a real page turner. This is a book that you'll want to read start to finish without putting it down. Denise was truly an authentic character. You could understand her frustration and her denial of her husband's secret. With Denise by his side, he was able to stand and admit that he is not perfect. What I enjoyed most about this book is that Ms. Campbell did not portray Bryce to an untouchable Pastor. He was just as human as anyone else. Illusions was a very satisfying read with true to life characters with real life problems. I cannot wait to read the next book by Wanda B. Campbell as I am pretty sure it will not disappoint.
As time goes on, Denise realizes that Bryce is not going to change and does not want to change. That is, until a seemingly nosey neighbor sent from God, comes into their life and guides Bryce to the destiny God has for him. Family secrets are revealed and the root of the problem is discovered. When someone from the congregation is struggling with the same thing and goes to them for help, they realize it can no longer be kept quiet. Will their marriage be saved? Will Bryce overcome his addiction?
Illusions will have you on the edge of your seat. You will not want to put this book down until you find out what happens. Campbell has no problem digging deep into some of the troubles of today's church leaders. Although fiction, the situation is REAL. I definitely recommend this book to others. I cannot wait to see what else Campbell has in store for us.
Sista Talk Book Club
The storyline was very compelling, but I did get a bit lost a third of the way through the story due to a lot of head hopping. In some scenes you knew what everyone was thinking. I find that hard to follow. Plus, sometimes the characters' inner thoughts seemed more like the author instructing the reader than what the character would really be thinking. Not one to give up easily, I started reading again and tried to focus on the heart of the story.
The ending scene at the church also made me cry. It was beautiful and so true. If more people would allow themselves to trust and be transparent, God could do so much more with His people. So, bottom line is I loved the story...but the writing style? Not so much. Regardless, I highly recommend this book to people struggling with addiction and who are too ashamed to deal with it. This novel clearly shows how sickness only spreads when it's kept hidden.