One Woman Falling by Melanie Campbell – Book Review, Preview

Posted August 1, 2019 by Phyllis Helton in Best of the Year, Book Reviews /

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Psalm 42 (NIV)

As the deer pants for streams of water,
so my soul pants for you, my God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When can I go and meet with God?
My tears have been my food
day and night,
while people say to me all day long,
“Where is your God?”
These things I remember
as I pour out my soul:
how I used to go to the house of God
under the protection of the Mighty One[d]
with shouts of joy and praise
among the festive throng.

Why, my soul, are you downcast?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.

My soul is downcast within me;
therefore I will remember you
from the land of the Jordan,
the heights of Hermon—from Mount Mizar.
Deep calls to deep
in the roar of your waterfalls;
all your waves and breakers
have swept over me.

By day the Lord directs his love,
at night his song is with me—
a prayer to the God of my life.

I say to God my Rock,
“Why have you forgotten me?
Why must I go about mourning,
oppressed by the enemy?”
My bones suffer mortal agony
as my foes taunt me,
saying to me all day long,
“Where is your God?”

Why, my soul, are you downcast?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.

 

One Woman Falling by Melanie Campbell – Book Review, Preview

One Woman Falling

by Melanie Campbell


Series: Whispers of Grace #1
Published by Mountain Brook Ink
Publication Date August 1, 2019
Genres: Christian Fiction, Woman's Fiction
Setting: Oregon Contemporary
Main Character Ages: 25-34
Written for: Adults
Pages: 348

Synopsis:

Cassie Peterson lives in an invisible prison of fear, chained by self-doubt and guarded by a relentless warden—her husband. Derrick’s verbal abuse as well as his alcoholism have left Cassie alienated from her family, without friends, and certain she can’t survive on her own.

After an unexpected police visit, Cassie realizes the survival of her four-year-old daughter, Renee, depends on Cassie’s courage to leave. What she doesn’t plan on is Derrick’s vengeful custody fight.

While walking through the treacherous world of divorce, Cassie is encouraged by her spunky new friend, Missy Langdon, to pursue her love of waterfalls. Cassie finds solace in the waterfalls on the agonizing weekends she’s forced to hand Renee over to Derrick. Meanwhile, unexpected help comes in the form of Brian Sutton, an attorney at the firm where Cassie works—but what price will she ultimately pay for his assistance?

As Derrick’s threatening behavior escalates, Cassie questions her choices. How long will her daughter suffer before the custody case is resolved? Why is she drawn to waterfalls during this chaotic time? And who will stand with her when everything comes crashing down?

I would like to thank Mountain Brook Ink for giving me this copy of the book. This gift did not influence my opinion or review.

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Read it and weep!

This intense debut novel devastated me. I know several women who are going through similar battles to the one Cassie faces in One Woman Falling, which may have influenced my thoughts on the book, but I doubt it.

The writing contains such emotional depth. Before I read the author’s notes, I would have said that it is clear she did her research. Now that I’ve read her notes, I know she used her personal experiences, making it even more compelling.

While abuse drives Cassie from her house, taking her four-year-old daughter, Renee, with her, it is not violent. Cassie’s struggle with doing the right thing, protecting Renee, and dealing with her grandmother’s failing health drive her to seek answers about whether God can help her and whether he even cares.

I appreciated that the author didn’t throw in easy answers or fall back on clichés. The narrative is very insightful and deeply compassionate. While Cassie has the sense of being overwhelmed, there is a glimmer of hope throughout the story. I appreciated seeing Cassie’s grief over the loss of her best friend, the man she fell in love with. I sometimes forget that abused women have loved the men doing this to them and only look at how awful the men seem at the time.

Having lived in the Eugene/Springfield area, I enjoyed reading about familiar places. I have been to a number of the waterfalls mentioned and they are as beautiful as described. Completely drawn into this fascinating story, I found myself wondering if I had ever been to Derrick’s car lot or passed Cassie in the grocery store.

I recommend One Woman Falling to anyone who has questioned whether God cares. I especially recommend it to anyone dealing with an abusive spouse or a custody case. I hope to be more compassionate with those I know involved in these situations and can better understand what they are going through.

If you enjoy challenging Christian fiction, be sure to catch One Woman Falling!

Sharables

About Melanie Campbell

Melanie Campbell is a member of Oregon Christian Writers and ACFW. She wrote her first story when she was eight-years-old and has been in love with the power of storytelling ever since. She is also passionate about social issues and holds a degree in Sociology from the University of Oregon, which she obtained during her stint as a single-mom. She’s now married and lives in Oregon’s beautiful Willamette Valley with her husband, their three children, and several spoiled pets.

When not writing, she does the bookkeeping and other office work for her husband’s painting business, obsesses over the well-being of their three daughters, and cooks healthy meals. In the spring, you may find her hitting the trails to one of Oregon’s magnificent waterfall

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