Thursday, April 24, 2014

A Promise in Pieces...

A Promise in Pieces

Emily Wierenga's debut novel is one of those stories that feels real when you're reading it.
In beautiful prose, she weaves together the memories and present experiences of one woman, Clara. 
And I felt like I was "listening in," or reading a private journal, as Clara told the story from her heart. 

It is the year 2000, and Clara's family is joining her on a road trip to New Orleans. Everyone knows this trip means a lot to her, and the destination involves a special event, but there are disparate parts of the story that need to be drawn together to show the whole, before they arrive. 
So Clara begins telling the tale of her life, in the backseat of the car where she rides with her teenage grandson. 
And as the miles roll on, so does the tale of A Promise in Pieces. 

I was as captivated as her grandson, Noah. Clara tells us of her strict growing up years in the 1930's, and then the night she learned that the war was tearing a hole out of souls and families and nations, and the hour she slipped out of the house to join the nursing corps, and then her time in the thick of the devastation. And then we see how the WWII never left her, it broke her heart and yet expanded it and made room for so much love. 

This story takes us along with Clara, through losses that shake her to the core and then her difficult return home and a search for purpose that leads her to places inside her that only God knew about. 
Because Clara narrates many chapters, this book reads like a mini-autobiography. I was engaged from the start, and even when it switched to third person, I was invested in her story and wanted to know what happened next. 
(This book would actually make a very cool movie, I think. You could have the scenes of the family on the road interspersed with scenes from Clara's life through the years.)

So whether you like contemporary family stories, or if you enjoy historical novels, and if you love tales of women trying to find identity and value and forgiveness and a reason to go on, then try A Promise In Pieces. 

Thank you Litfuse for my review copy! I'll be looking out for whatever Emily Wierenga writes next!

(I'm using Emily's personal bio here, I hope it encourages you to visit her personal blog. 
I think you'll find something to touch your heart there, as well as in this novel. )

 I’m Emily, and I’m honored and humbled to meet you, friend.
We’re all stumbling along on this journey and you can approach me about anything okay? I’m an open book, with dog-eared pages and a worn cover.
I’m mama to two boys, ages two and four, and married to a farm-boy-turned-math-teacher. We live in a small Dutch hamlet with three churches, one Co-Op and no stop lights. There are a lot of fields out here, there’s a lot of space and sky for breathing and running and writing.
We foster two boys in addition to our own two, and before I had kids, I took care of my Mum who had brain cancer. She fought back and has recovered, all glory to God, and my pastor-father still holds her hand while they go for daily walks.
I battled anorexia nervosa as a child, and then again as a newly married woman, and I write a lot about body image now and have a passion for women to learn to love themselves.
My husband and I have battled infertility and are currently trying to adopt our third child through the local Alberta government.
I hurt for the church, and believe in it, and pray for it, as I’ve grown up inside its walls and have heard its groanings.
I have a heart for Africa, particularly Uganda, and went there in January on a bloggers’ trip with World Help.
My favorite things to do are read literary novels, play guitar, snowboard, paint with oil and acrylics and hug my babies.
I am the author of two books on eating disorders, a novel releasing this spring, and a memoir coming out this summer. All of my books can be found here:
I hope you’ll connect with me on FB:, or if you prefer, Twitter: @emily_wierenga. I’d love to have a virtual glass of wine, or cup of coffee, with you.
Peace to you friends,

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