Thursday, May 7, 2020

Redemption by Karen Kingsbury (Book Review)

A little while back, I read my first Karen Kingsbury book.  I had been hooked on Amish romances, but someone highly recommended a book by Kingsbury so I read it.  I don't know why it took me so long to read one of her books!  I've heard her name for years, but for some reason, my eyes had not landed on one of her novels until fairly recently.  Since then, I've read several of her books and have loved every single one.  I've heard a lot of good things about her Baxter family series so I thought our current COVID19 "quarantine" would be a good time to start reading those books.  The first book in the Baxter family series is Redemption and it did not disappoint.  Was there any doubt?

Redemption by Karen Kingsbury - Book Review
Redemption by Karen Kingsbury (Image Created in PicMonkey)

Redemption, as did Kingsbury's other books, had me immediately captivated.  This book, as captivating as it was, was also a hard one to read.  It wasn't hard to read due to the writing.  The writing was great!  It was the content that was so hard to grasp.  In Redemption, we are introduced to the Baxter family, a family of loving parents and several adult children.  The focus of this story is on Kari Baxter Jacobs and her husband.  Kari's husband teaches at the local university.  One evening, Kari is stunned to learn of her husband's affair with a student.  Kari believes God has taught her that love is a decision and God wants her to fight for her marriage.

Some readers might misunderstand this book to push the belief that God wants women to stay with husbands who mistreat them.  This is not what the Bible teaches but this is also not what Kingsbury is trying to teach her readers.  I'm a Southern Baptist raised woman.  I'm as conservative as they come and I believe that unfaithfulness in a marriage gives a woman Biblical grounds for seeking a divorce.  This is not the message Kingsbury is pushing.  In her story, Kari's personal testimony based on her relationship with God is that He wants HER to fight for HER marriage, not that this is what all women should do.  I need to add, however, that some women in real life situations similar to Kari's have felt this same calling on them as wives of unfaithful husbands and they have incredible personal testimonies of God's faithfulness to them and their families. I have always wondered how some women can come to the same decisions as Kari Jacobs.  This story helped me see how they do.

I can't relate to Kari's marital circumstances but I can relate to the need for redemption.  We are all fallen.  We all need redemption.

There are other plot twists to keep you guessing about how the story wraps up.  Kari has an ex-boyfriend, one who broke her heart many years ago.  Now, he's back in her life.  His presence makes Kari's fight for her marriage even more challenging.  Kari has other sisters and a brother.  They each have complex personalities, interests, and beliefs.  They were all raised by the same loving, Godly, and well grounded parents but they are all different, molded from different life experiences of blessings and brokenness.

As you flip through the pages of this first of many in a vast series of Baxter family stories, you'll laugh, cry, rejoice, and hurt.  Your heart will break, but also learn to heal. 

Redemption by Karen Kingsbury
Redemption by Karen Kingsbury

If you are someone who can relate to Kari's story on a level that I cannot, I hope you will find her story inspiring, even if your choice is different from hers.  My personal prayer for you is that you will be encouraged by this fictional story and that you will gain a desire to seek knowledge, understanding, and wisdom from the only source of real truth concerning marriage and relationships, the Bible.

Marriage is not the only area in our lives that can produce a broken relationship.  This book demonstrates how God can heal any kind of broken relationship even if restoring the relationship seems hopeless.

At the end of the book, there is a list of discussion questions to help you discover a deeper understanding of the story and applications to your own life.

I can't wait to start the next book in this series, Remember.  I'll let you know what I think.  :)

Other books I've read and recommend by Karen Kingsbury:


One Tuesday Morning

Beyond Tuesday Morning

Remember Tuesday Morning

Shades of Blue 

Oceans Apart 

On Every Side  

Where Yesterday Lives


UPDATE:  Since I wrote this post, I have finished all five books in the Redemption Series.  You can find my review here.

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