A Beautiful Mess by Brenda S. Anderson – Book Review, Preview

Posted November 12, 2019 by Phyllis Helton in Book Reviews /

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A Beautiful Mess by Brenda S. Anderson – Book Review, Preview

A Beautiful Mess

by Brenda S. Anderson

Published by Vivant Press, Mosaic Collection
Publication Date November 6, 2019
Genres: Christian Fiction, Woman's Fiction
Setting: Minnesota Contemporary
Main Character Ages: 25-34
Written for: Adults


Can she love the child who broke up her marriage?

Nearly four years ago, Erin Belden's happy life became a shattered mess. After her husband admitted to an affair and that a child had been conceived, he left her and their young daughter for his new family. Now, she's finally ready to put the pieces of her life together. She's set to launch her own business and even thinks her heart might be open to romance--should the right man come along.

But just when everything seems to be lining up, she receives a devastating call: her ex-husband and his wife have been killed in a car accident, and Erin is listed in their will as their daughter's legal guardian.

How can she be a mother to the child--let alone love the child--who broke up her marriage? Does she have the courage to start over yet again and turn this mess into a mosaic of beauty?

I received a complimentary copy of this book. This gift did not influence my opinion or review.

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A trend I’ve seen with “traditionally published” Christian books lately is that while there are themes of forgiveness and grace, the Gospel message is often watered down or not present at all. While I certainly don’t believe that every Christian book is required to have the Gospel presented to be in that genre, in some of the stories, there isn’t enough about faith in them to allow the reader to distinguish that the God mentioned is the one of the Bible.

Having read A Beautiful Mess, there is no question in my mind what author Brenda S. Anderson believes or what God she worships. The message of redemption is so clear. It shines in vivid colors! This is the first book I have read by her and I am so hooked!! I loved this glimpse into her heart.

Erin’s story is tragic. She had a troubled childhood, raised by just her mother who suffered from mental illness and depression. Married to her childhood sweetheart and best friend after getting pregnant, she thought everything was fine. Until she discovered what betrayal felt like!

I saw this book offered on blog tours several times. And while I was intrigued by the description, I passed up the opportunity to read it more than once. And yet, when invited again to receive a copy for review, I knew I had to read it. Oh, I am so glad I did!

Yes, my heart was wrenched. I was moved to tears. Erin’s pain and the fears she had regarding her daughter were so intense! The sense of abandonment she had because of her husband Corey’s actions and the desertion of another close friend had devastated her! And then, the things she read in Corey’s personal journal. Wow!!

Erin’s journey was filled with anguish and yet it was also full of hope. The way the author incorporated Corey’s journal into the narrative to explain events that had occurred was well done. While it introduced some adult themes, they did not cross any lines of propriety and were needed to fully paint the picture of the past.

Readers who enjoy a rich portrait of brokenness and restoration bathed in faith will want to be sure and read this beautiful story!

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About Brenda S. Anderson

Brenda S. Anderson writes gritty and authentic, life-affirming fiction. She is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, and is Past-President of the ACFW Minnesota chapter, MN-NICE, the 2016 ACFW Chapter of the Year. When not reading or writing, she enjoys music, theater, roller coasters, and baseball (Go Twins!), and she loves watching movies with her family. She resides in the Minneapolis, Minnesota area with her husband of 30-plus years and one sassy cat.

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