Monday, August 29, 2022

Review: Composing Amelia by Alison Strobel

Gener: Women's Fiction
Publisher: David C. Cook
Released: Sept. 1, 2011
352 pages

About the Book:

Can a brand-new marriage withstand the weight of generations-old baggage?

Newlyweds Amelia and Marcus Sheffield are recent college grads, trying to stay afloat in LA while searching for their dream jobs. Marcus hopes to become a mega-church pastor. Amelia has an esteemed music degree, and longs to play piano professionally. The Sheffields are clearly city people.

But when a small town church offers Marcus a job, the couple’s dedication to their dreams and each other is tested. After a risky compromise is made, Amelia falls into a dark emotional place, where she finds skeletons she’d fought hard to deny. In desperation, she calls out to God. But why can’t she find Him? While Amelia struggles, Marcus learns news that nearly crushes him. He must lean on his faith to withstand the pressure… or risk losing his wife forever.


My Rating & Thoughts:    

I have such mixed thoughts about this story. Marcus and Amelia are newlyweds and recent graduates both working multiple odd jobs while sending out resumes in hopes of claiming their dream job, Amelia - music and Marcus - pastoring. Within days of each other they are both offered jobs however these jobs are in two different states, what will they do? I quickly became intrigued with these characters wondering how they would handle this situation. Amelia’s attitude really bothered near the beginning, she came across very selfish and unwilling to have a rational discussion with Marcus about the situation. Even her best friend questions her and she just walks away. It was definitely Marcus that kept me reading. As the story develops it begins to take on a heavy feeing with depression and bipolar taking center stage. Both characters are battling inner struggles due to recent revelations and past experiences. I feel if they had communicated with one another much earlier than they did about their inner thoughts, their struggles wouldn’t have gone on for as long as it did. I hate to see relationships break-up so I was cheering for these two to be able to work through the challenges and come out better on the other side. I couldn’t stand Marcus’ father, he was two different people one person his church would see and a whole other person to his family, especially Marcus. Always finding the negative when Marcus tried to share good news. I was so thankful when Marcus turned to Ed for guidance and the support that Ed and the church provided. This was a wonderful example of how church members should treat one another. I struggled with deciding what to rate this book because while I found myself anxious to return to the book each time I had to put it down, I also thought the story tended to drag and I became frustrated with it at times. Another thing that bothered me is a lot was shared about a what happened after the fact rather then readers experiencing the situation right there with the characters. It would jump weeks at a time and then do a recap of what happened in over those weeks. Overall I settled on 3 stars because while I was invested in the characters and wanted things to work out for them, the slow pace of the story took it down for me.

Favourite Quote: 
“Remember that actions speak louder than words. It doesn't matter how much you say it, if what you do tells a different story.”

(I purchased my copy of this book; opinions expressed 
in this review are my honest opinion and completely my own.)


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