If you know my story, you know we are in our 14th home in 21 years of marriage. There was a definite low point in our life where I felt hopeless, our lives were a terrible mess.
We were suddenly jobless, living in a friend’s condo rent free after selling the home I never wanted to leave, we sold one of our cars, we had just given away our family dog, we had a sickening amount of debt. I vividly remember laying on the floor in the sun room of that condo as low as I could get, wrapped in a blanket, crying.
I spent my years of raising three tiny boys, who were 3.5 years apart from the youngest to the oldest, going to Bible studies on Wednesday mornings. Beth Moore was a staple, I remember watching her in her cute outfits on the videos, skipping most of the homework and then regretting it, feeling like we were secret BFFs while she brought the story of the Patriarchs to life in ways I haven’t heard since. Those were the days of diapers, sippy cups and Beth Moore’s reassuring southern accent whispering into my ear.
That day on the condo on the floor, somehow one of Beth’s books (can I just call her Beth because I’ve been doing that in my head for years) found its way into my hands and she talked me straight of that pit right there on the floor and that day my entire perspective changed. I can still pinpoint everything about that moment.
I haven’t done a Beth Moore study in ages. My boys are older, I’m working, and I didn’t realize how much I missed hearing her Southern accent speak truth into my life.
Well, I’ve been reunited with an old friend.
One of the greatest teachers of our time, Beth Moore has finally written fiction and it does not disappoint.
I love a good book, a good story, one that keeps you up later than you wanted to be and that’s exactly what The Undoing of Saint Silvanus is. It has layers, modern-day imperfect lives, super developed characters, and a satisfying ending. And of course, what we have come to expect from a Beth Moore book, she ties it up with a bow, focusing on the One who “is not scandalized by our failures.” It’s not cheesy, it’s not forced, it’s the kind of story you want to get lost in on a Saturday.
Four things I want to tell you about this book:
1. It’s written in a comforting southern accent, it took me three chapters to stop feeling like Beth Moore was reading me an adult bedtime story, after a while the story was so captivating, I forgot about the author and got sucked in, but the southern accent never goes away and I’m glad.
2. I read it this summer but kept thinking how appropriate it was that it was coming out in the fall, this book just feels like a fall read with cozy fires, rainstorms, and an unlikely family that embraces each other–you’ll fall in love with all of them.
3. This drawing in the front of the book. Much of the story takes place in the sanctuary of an old church turned into an apartment home with a shared family room. I wish every book came with a rendering of the house where the story took place, I’m embarrassed to tell you how many times I flipped back to it, and now that the book is over, I kind of want to color it.
4. The Undoing of Saint Silvanus is a thick book. You big book lovers know how important this is, with books like this, the bigger the better. You have 460 word-filled pages to enjoy this book. YES!
I wondered, if the book would somehow sneak in Old Testament teachings with Bible passages and assignments but nope, it was a genuine well written story, if it came out today as a movie, I’d pay to go see it in the theater. Of course, there was redemption in the end, all messy and personal, just like it is in real life. Read all about the storyline here.
I’m delighted to be back in touch with my old friend Beth Moore, once again, she’s speaking encouraging words into my life, this time though the art of a well written story. The Undoing of Saint Silvanus releases today, here’s hoping there’s more fiction where that came from!
PS, Once you read the book, you’ll enjoy this free book club webcast in January!
Thanks to Tyndale for partnering with Nesting Place & sponsoring my honest review of this book.