If you haven’t read the many Christian novels on the market because you find them too sweet, too plain-vanilla, not real enough to hold your attention, or obviously predictable, then Karen Pashley, the author of Precious in His Sight will certainly surprise you.
There is no sugar-coating this real life story that ping-pongs between South Carolina and New York. The first line of the story jumps right into the middle of a family dealing with some shocking issues.
The kind of developments that no one wants to talk about in Christian circles. The kinds that have serious consequences.
It’s easy to see Pashley searched the depth of her soul to locate just the right characters to connect with each reader. Men and women whom we assume to be what they appear to be on Sunday mornings. People we look up to; people we look down upon–champions, enemies, and everything in between. It makes us wonder how a non-Christian views our world. How do we make a lasting difference in our neighbor’s life?
She didn’t know much about his life…He was a religious man–she heard him talking about serving on his church’s building committee. She wasn’t sure what that meant–were they trying to build up their membership? Build morale? Or build an actual building?
The story escorts us into busy, hectic lives that are filled with doubts, misconceptions, betrayal and questions, lots of questions. It holds our attention because it is never predictable. It just isn’t what we thought would happen. The author does a suburb job of allowing the reader to seriously ponder what in the world would I do in that situation? instead of telling us how to think. That’s the best part of Precious in His Sight. Pashley guides us and gently moves us into finding out how God could possibly use something bad for something good as part of His plan for our own hyperactive lives.
For the first time in my life I feel I am wearing a mask. I could never understand how Christian people could be so good at hiding what was going on in their lives. Now I get it. And I hate myself for it.
The subject matter is ticklish, finding us with our mouth wide open in surprise. The characters are deep, leaving us to discover their motives. The solution is surprising, period.
For a first time novel, Pashley truly deserves to win the James Jones First Novel Fellowship prize or something similar. And then, we can hold our breath until her second novel appears soon–see her website: www.karenpashley.com/work-in-progress/
But for now, I give this book a 5-Armchair Rating.