Book Review: Lead Me Home

29 Mar

Amid open fields and empty pews, small towns can crush big dreams.

Abandoned by his no-good father and forced to grow up too soon, Noble Burden has set his dreams aside to run the family farm. Meanwhile, James Horton, the pastor of the local church, questions his own calling as he prepares to close the doors for good.

As a severe storm rolls through, threatening their community and very livelihood, both men fear losing what they care about most . . . and reconsider where they truly belong.

 

 

Amy K. Sorrells is a long-time believer in the power of story to change lives. Her diverse writing career includes more than two decades of freelance writing, including medical journal publications and a popular op-ed newspaper column. The driving mission behind all her writing is to bring words of hope to a hurting world. Praised by reviewers for the way they both poetically and accurately portray real-life hardship and hope, Amy’s novels are inspired by social issues that break her heart and the Bible stories that reflect God’s response to those issues. Her first novel, How Sweet the Sound, was a response to her personal questions about how God redeems the pain of sexual abuse. How Sweet the Sound won the 2011 Women of Faith Writing Contest. Since then, she has published two more novels, Then Sings My Soul and Lead Me Home. Amy’s novels have been short-listed for various fiction awards. In addition to being a writer, Amy is also grateful to be a practicing registered nurse at a busy suburban hospital. She loves doting on her husband, three young-adult sons, and their golden retrievers at their home in central Indiana. If there’s leftover time after that, she enjoys up-cycling, gardening, binge reading, exercising, and Bible journaling.

Connect with Amy at amyksorrells.com, or find her on Facebook (@amyksorrells), Twitter (@amysorrells), and Instagram (@amyksorrells).

My Impressions:

The first book I read by Amy K. Sorrells, How Sweet The Sound, made a big impression on me. I knew that after reading it, I would have to get busy and dig into her other books. So on my recent spring break trip I decided to take Lead Me Home along. I am so very glad I did! Lead Me Home is a complex novel full of wonderful characters that grab and sometimes break your heart. Set in a small Indiana farming town, this book examines things we lose — people, purpose, dreams. While it could easily have been a depressing book, it was instead a story of the hope and the possibilities of wonderful futures. Just like How Sweet The Sound, Lead Me Home is a book to savor, think about, and discuss with others. A great book club book, this novel is a highly recommended read.

Sycamore, Indiana is a town on the verge — small family farms are disappearing, people are moving on to bigger cities, and those that stay are afraid that life is leaving them behind. Main characters James Horton and Noble Burden know what its like to live with loss. Widowed and left to raise a teenage daughter alone, James is the pastor of a dying church. An aspiring musician, Noble is forced to run the family dairy farm after his father leaves him with responsibilities too great for a 19 year old. Both question their decisions, their futures, and the seeming silence of a God that promises rest.

I loved all the characters, flawed as they are, that Sorrells has created in Lead Me Home. Their main attraction is how real they are — real in their doubts, fears, and struggles. Like me, they often try to go it alone, forgetting that God has them in the palm of His hand. The community in which the novel is set is rich in its American-ness — self-sufficient and proud, seeking to survive and flourish. Sorrels’s examination of the church is spot on as well. The ridiculous reasons someone leaves a church are juxtaposed against the real picture of Christ’s church that comes together in the end. The struggle to trust God is portrayed realistically too. At one point Noble thinks about the relationship he has had with God — It was in the wrestling and holding tight and trying to pin him down that Noble had come to know God as true, though he still had a hard time trusting him. Those words mirror an active faith; one that isn’t afraid to question God.

Lead Me Home is a novel meant to be savored — don’t rush through this one. You will want to spend time with James, Noble, Shelby, Eustace, and the rest of those that inhabit the pages. It’s full of simple wisdom and deep thoughts that will continue to speak to you long after you close the covers.

Highly Recommended.

Audience: adults.

To purchase, click HERE. (It is currently only 99 cents on Kindle!)

(Thanks to Tyndale House Publishers for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

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3 Responses to “Book Review: Lead Me Home”

  1. Melissa at the Book Shelf March 31, 2018 at 6:24 am #

    Sound terrific!

    Like

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