Book Review: ABIDE by JoAnn Durgin

Untitled         If you have been a follower of my blog for even just a short period of time, you will know that I am an avid reader. Not only that, I love to read Christian romance novels. Christian romance novels are clean, yet full of romantic moments, and the stories deal with real-life issues. They are called Christian because there is always a wonderful message of God’s salvation, or His unconditional love, or grace and mercy, or His faithfulness. . .the list could go on. Christian romance novels always leave the reader encouraged, with renewed faith, or perhaps through the book the reader reads the message of salvation, and s/he accepts Christ as her/his Lord and Savior.

It is said that each genre of fiction romance, women’s, westerns, historical, etc., has its own technique. If that is true, then JoAnn Durgin has mastered the technique of writing Christian romance fiction. Yet, I hesitate to use the word “technic” because there is so much more to her stories than technique. JoAnn describes scenery with such vivid and colorful words, that we have an exact picture in our minds of what the mountains, or valleys, or towns or big cities look like. She writes eloquently of characters, most are inherently good, yet with flaws, just like us, so we easily relate to them and their lives. We watch these characters grow throughout her books, and by the time we reach the end of each book, the characters seem so real, they are family to us.

JoAnn’s style of writing has been evident throughout the Lewis Legacy series. From  Prelude where we meet Sam Lewis Sr., and his bride, Sarah, to Awakening, and through the latest in the series, Abide, we have met almost all of the Lewis clan, as well as members of the TeamWork Missions group. Each book in the series can be read as a stand-alone, but for your greatest reading pleasure, I encourage you to read the series. Start with Prelude, and proceed to book one.

The latest book, Abide, features Catherine “Caty” Lewis, the youngest daughter of Sam and Sarah. She is a high-spirited, feisty young woman, sure in her faith in God. A chief accountant for Belac, Inc., she is transferred to Houston, bringing her back to her hometown and close in proximity to her family. She never hesitates to pray about anything and shares her beliefs through the way she lives and speaks.

Caleb Reid, president and CEO of Belac, Inc., is Caty’s boss–a man haunted by his past while trying to protect and raise his daughter. He has walked away from his faith and from God. He and Caty meet in one of the funniest scenes in the entire Legacy Series. They are immediately attracted to one another and as they get to know one another, the attraction grows.

JoAnn did a beautiful job writing the love story between Caty and Caleb. The spiritual aspect of the story is woven throughout the book. But there’s also a mystery involved and the intrigue will keep you up at night until you read the last page.

Abide is the type of book that you will want to read time and time again. When you finish the book, you will be so encouraged and if, like me, your faith has been a little wobbly lately, it will be strengthened by the encouraging words and scriptures that JoAnn used.

Abide is an absolute “must read,” so add it to your vacation reading list or save it to read when the kids go back to school and once again, the house is all your own—for a few hours at least!



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