Be glad in the Lord and rejoice! Psalm 32:11

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Finding Salvation in Healing Waters

Healing Waters
By Nancy Rue and Stephen Arterburn
Thomas Nelson; $14.99

You got to love a book that appeals to the common woman – the woman in all of us that is just a regular person with regular problems.

Sure it’s fun to imagine yourself as a princess on the run from an evil duke, or a high-powered executive who sets out to solve the murder mystery du’jour. That’s escapism at its best.

But to find a novel that features an overweight, unsure-of-herself nurse who is having marital stress and must overcome her own problems to handle a family crisis – well, that’s something special. Especially if said novel has a message of hope and faith included.

“Healing Waters,” by Nancy Rue and Stephen Arterburn, is such a tale. It is being toted as the “Novel of 2009” by the Women of Faith conference, and once you delve into the story of Lucia Coffey, you’ll soon learn why it is being hailed as such a well-written piece.

Standing in her famous evangelist sister Sonia’s shadow all her life, Lucia Coffey has to deal with some self-confidence issues as well as weight issues. But when a horrible tragedy causes her sister to be burnt almost beyond recognition, it’s up to Lucia to step in and face her own insecurities in order to deal with the challenges and obstacles in her sister’s life.

When Lucia moves into Sonia’s palatial Nashville mansion, she finds she must deal with an unreliable staff, a slew of questionable hangers-on, as well as taking care of her little niece Bethany, who seems terrified of anything having to do with her mother. There is also the presence of the FBI as they investigate the plane crash that caused Sonia’s burns, and the possibility that someone close to her might have been out to kill her.

The one saving grace in this circus atmosphere is the presence of Sullivan Crisp, a psychotherapist friend of her sister, who will soon prove to be an important fixture in everyone’s life.

Sullivan offers Lucia an opportunity to take some time to reflect on the woman on the inside who is crying for an understanding of herself and her faith. Gently and persuasively drawing Lucia from the shadow of her sister, Sullivan helps the kind and attentive nurse draw strength from her faith to be able to deal with the chaos that revolves around her.

Authors Rue and Arterburn offer readers as fast-paced, action filled novel that also has moments of tenderness and quiet reflection. The character of Sullivan Crisp, who was first introduced in the novel “Healing Stones,” is a steadfast presence that is not perfect, but helps others to find a peace in their lives much like he seeks for his own.

It was easy to pick up “Healing Waters” as a novel in itself, but upon completion, I found that I not only want to go back and read the first of the Sullivan Crisp novels, but also look forward to the new installments to come.

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