Published by Bethany House Publishers on April 4th 2017
Genres: Christian Fiction, Historical
Trying to heal the ache she feels in her empty life, wealthy Christine Pendleton decides to volunteer at Centre Street Chapel. Ministering to one of the most deprived parts of New York City, the chapel aims at making a difference in the lives of the impoverished immigrants flooding the city. After seeing firsthand the hopelessness of the poor women and orphans, Christine is convinced more can be done to help them.
Guy Bedell has been serving at the chapel and pouring his heart out for the people he's grown to care about. When Christine begins to challenge his methods and offers a new vision for reaching out to the community, can he trust that perhaps God has bigger plans in store for him--plans that may include this feisty socialite?
I couldn’t help but compare this book to the feel of the show, Call the Midwife. I don’t mean that it centers around midwifery. It doesn’t. But, it takes us into the impoverished lives of the unfortunate souls who found themselves living in the overcrowded tenement houses.
These poor families were living in deplorable conditions and often found themselves in less than ideal situations and employment; just to fill their bellies. It’s heartbreaking and terrifying.
I will admit, I was a bit frustrated that Guy assumed that many of these women were fulfilling the desires of their flesh. My heart bled a little for these poor women who felt that selling their bodies was the only way to survive.
Historically, I suppose this would be a fairly accurate assumption. But then, you have Christine and she sees the plight of the people differently. She can see that if these women could make fair wages, they wouldn’t have to turn to a life of prostitution.
As usual, I feel that Jody did a fantastic job with capturing the sights, smells, and conditions of the places she is writing about. I was transported to a dank, dirty city and my heart went out to the people who have had to (and still) endure such deplorable living conditions.
This author definitely has very strong imagery and she doesn’t shy from dark themes that have prevailed throughout all times. Still, the love of Christ is always reflected in all of her writings.
I would definitely suggest this book to others. If you’re looking for light fiction—I wouldn’t say this book is for you. If you enjoy a story with complex characters that have a tenacity for survival—this is the book for you.