Friday, May 13, 2016

Book Review: Lead Me Home (2016) by Amy Sorrells

❤ Official Synopsis ❤

Amid open fields and empty pews, small towns can crush big dreams.Abandoned by his no-good father and forced to grow up too soon, Noble Burden has set his dreams aside to run the family farm. Meanwhile, James Horton, the pastor of the local church, questions his own calling as he prepares to close the doors for good.As a severe storm rolls through, threatening their community and very livelihood, both men fear losing what they care about most . . . and reconsider where they truly belong.

My feelings about this book are complicated. Lead Me Home will really only appeal to readership that wants Bible verses quoted every chapter, enjoys a passive writing style with little dialogue, and has personally experienced the death pangs of a small town church as the people leave for greener pastures. I don't fit into any of these categories and so I really had nothing to keep me reading, although I did keep reading.

To be fair, I liked all of the lead characters. Grief has a funny way of manifesting itself sometimes so I empathized with Pastor Horton's daughter, Shelby, as she makes a few poor life choices after her mother's death. Pastor Horton was likeable, Noble Burden was likeable too, although his name made me groan, especially when the character succumbed to a "noble burden" rather than following his own dreams and building a life outside of owning a small-town dairy farm.

And really, that's the whole gist of my issue with the book. Change isn't always negative. The dairy farm is killing the Burden family slowly. A change of pace would suit them. But when it comes down to it, Noble does the "noble" thing and turns down an offer to pursue his music in Nashville. That was ridiculous, but his decision to stay with the dairy farm was portrayed as pious. No, it would have served his family much better if he'd up and moved them all to a new town for a fresh start.

In the end, Amy Sorrell's writing style and storytelling format just isn't for me. I could almost compare her work a tiny bit to Lisa Wingate's style except that I feel Ms. Wingate's books have a better pacing. Or you could compare her work to Billy Coffey except that I find Coffey's books charming. Lead Me Home was just too churchy, if you get what I mean. If a highly churchified novel is what you're looking for then you'll love Lead Me Home.

* I received a free copy of Lead Me Home from Tyndale Publishers in exchange for an honest review, which I have given.

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