Dual Timeline Fiction Book Review: With You Here
About the Book
Title: With You Here
Series: A Carrington Family Novel (Book 4)
Author: Sarah Monzon
Publisher: Radiant Publications
Release Date: September 1, 2019
Publisher's Description"Holy Roman Empire, 1527: In the wake of Martin Luther’s religious reforms, Princess Christyne von Heidelbraum is compelled by her sense of duty to help ease the burden of her people. When she stumbles upon a dying man in the woods, she vows to aid him—even when she discovers the arrow shot in his leg was put there by a heretic hunter. With both her physical and spiritual well-being in danger, she must choose between conscience or adhering to the laws of the Empire.
Present Day: Doubting her calling to become a hospital chaplain, Amber Carrington takes time off from her theology studies to volunteer with refugees in Germany. Working with children, making a difference, reconnecting with the conviction that once drove her—these were her expectations. An instant attraction to a professional soccer player wasn’t a part of the plan…and she can’t let him distract her from her purpose.
As a new Christian, Seth Marshall is determined to put his popularity as a world-renowned footballer to good use. Unfortunately, old habits and public opinions are hard to overcome. When he falls hard and fast for Amber Carrington, his former life—and her no-dating policy—may block his perfect shot for the woman he loves."
My ReviewWith You Here, by Sarah Monzon, may be the fourth and final book in the Carrington Family series, but this captivating time-slip story reads very well as a stand-alone novel. With beautiful writing and rich historical details, this book is fascinating and very enjoyable. Elements of romance, history, and faith are thoughtfully combined in this moving, well-researched novel.
Ms. Monzon uses dual-timelines purposefully and effectively, creatively displaying her genuine talent as a writer. With You Here features compelling contemporary scenes that are made even more powerful by the presence of meaningful historical scenes from centuries ago. With superb pacing, important details from both the past and the present are carefully revealed and connections are disclosed as the story reaches its significant and satisfying conclusion.
Even while overcoming difficult circumstances and deep insecurities, the characters in this novel display courage and conviction in a way that is absolutely inspiring. As they wrestle with the consequences of their choices, endeavor to nurture their faith, and strive to find their purpose, the characters also continue to search for truth, hope, and redemption. Throughout this novel, profound themes of fortitude and compassion are encouraging and relevant.
With You Here is a remarkably interesting and touching novel. The sweet moments of romance, the intriguing history, and the impactful themes are appealing and thought-provoking. This book is truly engaging and impressive. I recommend it wholeheartedly.
*I was given a copy of this book from the author/publisher. A review was not required. The review I have written is voluntary and contains opinions that are entirely my own.
My ReflectionThere are moments within this novel when the characters question their identity, their purpose, and their God-given calling. They are shaken by their own feelings of unworthiness. They wonder if they have the skills, the knowledge, or the strength to follow God into the unknown. Yet, even as the characters struggle with their value and their place in God’s Kingdom, there is always a whisper of hope, always a reminder that God’s love is redemptive, and always an indication that God’s plan for the salvation of humanity includes all hearts and all stories. Throughout With You Here, Sarah Monzon gently illustrates the power of God’s love and grace to use ordinary people to accomplish his most extraordinary goals.
About the Author
A Carol award finalist and Selah award winner, Sarah Monzon is a stay-at-home mom who makes up imaginary friends to have adult conversations with (otherwise known as writing novels). As a navy chaplain's wife, she resides wherever the military happens to station her family and enjoys exploring the beauty of the world around her. --Biography from Sarah Monzon's author page on Amazon.com.