Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Book Review: The Renewal by Terri Kraus

I'm one of those HGTV junkies (House and Garden Channel), so when my friend Terri Kraus asked for influencers for her new book, The Renewal, the second book in her Restoration series, I raised my hand. As a professional interior designer, Terri knows her stuff and I was excited to read the story she crafted in such a setting as restoring older buildings to their prime.

Leslie Ruskin, a single mom looking for a new start, comes to Butler, Pennsylvania and purchases an old structure known as the Midlands Building. A place with good bones in need of some TLC. She sees it as a place to put down roots with her five-year-old daughter Ava.

At the same time, Jack Kenyon is looking to make a new start with his one-man construction business. He's got some skeletons in his closet he'd prefer keeping there and figures starting over in a new town he'll be able to do that. But God has other plans.

When Leslie hires Jack to help renovate one of the apartments in her new building, neither realizes how God will work on these two lonely souls, restoring them while they restore the building.

Terri tells the story in the manner of storytellers of old. With the turn of each page more facets are revealed and woven into the fabric of a whole through the intermingling of the townspeople both Leslie and Jack meet and how, as the story progresses, the issues that drive them are brought out. The spiritual arc also weaves itself into the story like a golden thread of hope, drawing both Jack and Leslie to a place where they are finally able to trust in God and in each other.

Along with the story, I found the setting of an old building in need of restoration a wonderful parallel to the lives in need of the same attention.

This is a great story to curl up with a cup of tea and spend an afternoon devouring. You can pick it up at Amazon or Christian Book Distributors.

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