The next book on your fall reading list…

plants

 

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.

fall reading

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.

home

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.

saint sans

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.

saint sans

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.

fall reading

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!

mantle

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.

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Comments

  1. Wondering which book of Beth’s you are speaking of that you read when you were on the condo floor…

  2. Thank you so much for sharing your review of this book. I have not heard about it until reading your blog today. I was also a a young mama of three close in age learning from Beth on how to study the Bible and break free. Now my three are older and I look forward to reconnecting and reading a novel (haven’t done that in years).

  3. I nearly never read fiction (or BIG books) and it’s been on my list to stretch myself by reading something different. I love me some Beth Moore bible study, I’ll have to give this a try.

  4. Thanks for sharing this today? Appreciate your personal testimony.

  5. My sister and I have called her Mama Beth for a looooong time now because she just gets inside your heart like no other! I’m gonna have to read this! And I absolutely LOVE the illustration in the book!! You should definitely color it!

  6. Mary Margaret says

    My dream house is a converted old chapel! Kismet!?!?!?

  7. I’m not much for reading novels either…but have done many of Beth’s Bible Studies and what a blessing she has been in my life. She always lifts me up when I’m down and needing it most!! So I will have to set aside my preferences for biographies, etc. and just read a good old novel for a change. Thanks for the review.

  8. Lorraine Sherman says

    Oh! I am TOTALLY getting that book! Thank you for letting us all know about it. I love a good book & I love Beth Moore. Win win!

  9. Well, I love a good book, so this is going on my list. I don’t have a lot of free time to read non-text books (last year of college, just stick a fork in me please) but you sold me on this one. I admit that I have several of Beth’s books on my Kindle, and haven’t read one of them yet (hangs head)

  10. In my head she is “Miss Beth” for some reason.

    Her “Praying God’s Word” is one I pull out a few times a year because I am terrible at praying scripture and need her help!

  11. I know we are talking about books here but the decor though! YES PLEASE!

    xo,
    Aïchatou Bella
    http://www.stilettosandstandards.com

  12. LOVE Beth! I just went to her simulcast on Saturday and am so grateful you reviewed this book! Beth Moore “reading” me a story — yes please! ?

  13. When I first glanced at the drawing on the inside cover of the book, I thought it looks exactly like the inside of your white barn!

  14. Everyone has a different moment that speaks to him or her, I’ll never forget Beth Moore saying that she cut the rope with god several times, but putting knot after knot into it only brought her closer to Him.

  15. I would never participate in any Beth Moore study nor read any of her books. While she does teach some good things, there are major theological problems with many of her teachings. It is easy to find where her teachings go awry if you look.
    Examples: She claims to get direct revelation from God. She teaches a “romantic” relationship with Jesus to include our “falling in love with Him”. She teachers that He wants to “woo” and “pursue” us.She teaches contemplative prayer. All of these teachings and more are easily found in her 2015 simulcast.

    • Sylvia, I have heard that kind of criticism of Beth Moore’s teaching but what you’re referring to sounds like the Bible’s reference to saved ones, the Church, as being the Bride of Christ and the role of the Holy Spirit’s drawing us to Himself. We also use the term, “Falling in love” to convey more than just a romantic involvement with someone else, like falling in love with our newborn babies. So, for myself, your comments sound like reactions to things you’re not familiar with in theology. Maybe you could read more and decide whether you’re misunderstanding these ideas. I appreciate you’re trying to show discernment in these matters as a young believer.

  16. “Breaking Free”, based on Isaiah by Beth Moore, inspired me to combine different versions of the Bible to create rhyming scripture. I recorded the passages on my telephone answering machine and used them online as well. Setting her novel in a apartment house that once was a church is intriguing. I was in such a structure once that still had a bit of the original stained glass. Unfortunately, it had become a bar/restaurant with a rowdy night crowd. As a Christian it saddened me, and I wondered about the original church and its past, and how the building had come to this darker future.

  17. “Breaking Free”, based on Isaiah by Beth Moore, inspired me to combine different versions of the Bible to create rhyming scripture. I recorded the passages on my telephone answering machine and used them online as well. Setting her novel in a apartment house that once was a church is intriguing. I was in such a structure once that still had a bit of the original stained glass. Unfortunately, it had become a bar/restaurant with a rowdy night crowd. As a Christian it saddened me, and I wondered about the original church and its past, and how the building had come to this darker future.

  18. wow wow! that looks absolutely stunning girl! i love every post

  19. I read this book and LOVED IT! I’ve enjoyed many of her studies, both reading her words and listening to the video portions. I sometimes wish she’d do smaller chunks that would fit into my sunday school class time, but I’ll take her however I get her. I’m hoping she keeps writing fiction. I usually share my books, but I’m having trouble letting go of this one.

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