Author: Alison Strobel
Publication Date: May 7, 2010
Paperback, 320 pages
I don't generally read a lot of Christian fiction. To put that more accurately, until recently I hadn't picked up a work of Christian fiction since I was still babysitting my cousins at their house (the youngest of these cousins has just finished grade 9, the oldest, her first year of university). I don't have anything against religious fiction as a rule; it's just that I rarely have occasion to read it. With Alison Strobel's The Weight of Shadows, the occasion found me - and I'm glad that it did.
The first thing that struck me about this book was how quickly I found myself caring about the characters. Not because they're the most amazing, wonderful, likeable people in the world, but, actually, because they're not. The characters in this book are, really, just people. They struggle. They make mistakes, like everyone else, some huge and life-altering and others mundane and inconsequential, but all of them mistakes that real people would make. Throughout the book, and especially toward the end, I found myself silently cheering them on or telling them off and willing them to make what seemed so obviously to be the right choices.
By the second chapter, the importance of the author's faith to her, and the roll it plays in her writing, is evident. Regardless of my own beliefs, I found myself awed by her expressions of that faith, from the inner thoughts and feelings of her three main characters to the little (but heartfelt) prayers that they utter throughout the entire novel. Before the three seemingly insular story lines start to intersect, they're held together by these thoughts, feelings and prayers.
I can only imagine the painstaking research that must have gone into making The Weight of Shadows the book that it is. Strobel offers readers a detailed look into the life and motivations of a battered woman, the workings of a shelter and the emotions of people trying to cope with long-standing guilt.
The Weight of Shadows is an interesting study in faith, love and the interdependence of people, thoroughly researched and uniquely executed. I'm glad I had the opportunity to read it.
About the author:
Alison inherited the writing gene from her father, Lee, and grew up composing stories on everything from napkins to typewriters. Her talent earned her awards throughout school, a two page spread featuring her work in her senior yearbook, and even saved her from failing college chemistry. But it wasn't until she moved to California after college that she wrote her first full-length novel, and that's when God made Alison's oldest dream come true.
--From Alison's website, www.alisonstrobel.com
For more information about the book, the author or the tour, check out Alison's Blog.