Thursday, September 11, 2008

Book review: A Passion Redeemed

I read A Passion Redeemed by Julie Lessman not because I’m a fan of romance novels but because the concept was interesting.

The story, set in the early 1900’s, studies Charity, a beautiful young woman who attracts men at will by her stunning appearance. The man she sets her hat for, however, is determined to marry only a woman of faith and so he resists her charms.

Charity manipulates and lies in an attempt to overcome Mitch’s resistance. Ordinarily, a character like Charity is not attractive to readers (after all, we can’t see her abundant charms) but Lessman has formed Charity into a puzzling blend of generosity and selfishness. We see her helping a poor family with humor and kindness. We might even say, with charity.

You might want to throttle Charity a few times as she merrily sets herself in dangerous situations, using her sensuality and beauty to attract attention. But that’s because Lessman has done a good job in making us care for Charity as we might for a wayward child.

The book does include a rape and a discussion of childhood sexual abuse, although not at all graphically. Rather, Lessman deals with the emotional devastation of those events.

I would not recommend A Passion Redeemed for my teenage daughter, because I wouldn’t expose her to the passion stirred in the novel. However, the story deals realistically with a modern issue: how do we blend the physical and the spiritual into a healthy relationship?

And where does God’s nature fit into the pursuit of a marriage partner?

Charity’s story grips the reader and you’ll find the book hard to put down. If you know a Charity, this might be a great book to recommend. It will stir plenty of discussion.

You can find links for the book in yesterday’s post.

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