A while ago, I had a Christian book review blog. I
accidentally let that domain expire, however, and decided to buy my own name as my domain rather than just using the free one. Special, huh? 🙂
Anyway, I haven’t done a book review for a long while now (since April), but my sweet friend, Sarah Monzon, just released her debut novel! I am so beyond thrilled for her! It’s a fantastic debut, so I wanted to spread the word!
Without further ado, here’s my take on The Isaac Project.
Release date: September 1, 2015
Publisher: Radiant Publications
Author’s Web Site: http://www.sarahmonzonwrites.com/
From the publisher:
Becky Sawyer’s life unravels in a single day. Not only does she catch her boyfriend, the man she hoped to marry, lip-locked with another woman, she also receives the gut-wrenching news that her grandfather, the man who raised her, is dying. His last wish? To see her happily married. Heartbroken, Becky seeks inspiration in the pages of the Holy Scriptures. And finds it in the story of Isaac and Rebekah.
If love couldn’t keep his parents together, Luke Masterson wonders what will make a marriage last. He decides to steer clear of all women—especially crazy ones like Becky Sawyer, who employs a friend to find her a husband. But when he feels the dogged promptings of the Holy Spirit to move across the country and marry a complete stranger, it seems love has little to do with it anyway.
With commitment their only foundation, and love constantly thwarted, can an arranged marriage find happiness in the twenty-first century?
Becky and Luke. Sigh.
These two are a match made in heaven. Literally. When we first meet Becky, she’s joyful, optimistic, and in love. That doesn’t last long. At all. And it’s when her boyfriend is caught cheating on her that her insecurities—ones that I think a lot of us women can relate to—really come out. Through heartache, misunderstanding, and pride—yep, that nasty thing—Becky has such a beautiful character arc and growth that results in breaking down that wall of pride. There were a few times I wanted to throttle her, but more because I’ve been where she is and I know how it turns out. Thankfully, by the end of the book, so does she.
Luke. Well, I have a crush on him. Gotta be honest. J He really opens himself up to God’s direction, and while he has hesitations, he trusts in the Lord and makes a commitment he’s determined to stand by. His arc isn’t as focused upon, though we’re often in his point of view and it’s a beautiful thing. He has his own faults, but they don’t play as large a part in this story as Becky’s does. Luke’s story more surrounds his attempt to show his wife love—even before he realizes he loves her. He’s a pretty swoon-worthy man, I tell you.
Sarah Monzon has done an incredible job in her debut novel! She has excellent tension between two loveable characters, Luke and Becky, has protagonists (which don’t always need to be people) that move the story along at a good pace, and a well-developed plot. While the premise seems a little far-fetched in this day and age at first thought, when you read the book, it actually isn’t that far-fetched at all (and it’s something my husband and I have often talked about with regards to our own kids…LOL!). More than anything, it highlights that marriage isn’t about the feeling of love, but the commitment of love, something that will hold a marriage together through thick and thin.
I highly recommend reading this book. At first, you may need to suspend some belief to understand the premise (I personally didn’t, but some of you might), but isn’t that what fiction is anyway? A suspension of belief? Besides…I can see this happening and working out when both people are really committed.
As An Aside:
Would I do it? I want to say “no,” but honestly…in a way, I kind of did. While my husband and I met online on our own, we were “matched” together. We did talk on the phone a lot, but we only saw each other twice before our wedding (our third time in person together). We knew each other more than Luke and Becky, sure, but it was still a ginormous step of faith. So, would I do this? Would I involve myself in The Isaac Project? It would take a lot of faith—even more so than when I met and married my husband (by the way, that was over nine years ago, and we’re more in love today than even then!)—but if it’s what God asked me to do, yes. I would do it.
*I was given this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. The thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own.