Friends! Wow, I’ve not read a novel with so many suspenseful twists and turns in eons. If you’ve got a mere couple of days, you can finish this page-turner, no problemo. Plenty of time before our next Book Club meeting!
Mark your calendar and bring a friend to Branches Book Club at Middletown United Methodist Church on Monday, March 28th from 6:30-8:00 p.m.! We’ll be discussing Twisted Innocence (Moonlighters Series)by Terri Blackstock. This is guaranteed lively discussion!!!
While I’ve seen Terri’s books over the years in bookstores, I’d not picked one up before. Not sure why, and after reading this one, you can bet I’ll grab another one! The good news/bad news is she generally writes her books in series.
Series spell cessation/seclusion from one’s chores—a lesson I learned the hard way, no thanks to Karen Kingsbury. Hubster couldn’t find me for days. You think I’m kidding…
I also learned Twisted Innocence is Book Three in The Moonlighting Series which makes me want to fetch Books One and Two.
Terri’s writing tethers you so tightly to the characters you don’t want the book to end. You’ll meet Holly Cramer whose life looks like a version of Murphy’s Law. She just can’t quite come up for air.
She winds up pregnant, has the baby, names her Lily, deciding not to tell the father. Never mind he just happens to be wanted for murder from a drug bust.
Holly lives with one of her sister’s, Juliet, who’s widowed and has three children. She and Holly work hard, juggling babies and trying to make ends meet.
Holly’s other sister, Cathy, is engaged to a guy named Michael who is currently in jail. Makes one think neither Cathy nor Holly know how to pick their men (!!!), oh but just wait while the plot thickens! This is a big order of “don’t judge a book by its’ cover…”
One of my favorite parts of this novel is how Terri sprinkles truths about God throughout the characters’ dialogue. Here are a few:
When Holly’s daughter, Lily, looks up at her:
“Holly would never get used to that unconditional adoration. That gaze had the feel of God in it, and it calmed her spirit more than anything ever had.”
When Holly talks to a co-worker who researches her daughter’s father, he tells her, “I’m not judging you…everybody makes mistakes. You’re no different.”
When Holly’s sister, Juliet, hosts a baby shower for her, she panics a little about Juliet’s friends coming, fearing judgment for having a baby out of wedlock. Juliet says, “Stop looking at yourself as inferior. God doesn’t do that….He knows where you started and how you got here. He’s not disgusted, and neither are my friends. When they get to know you, they will delight in you like God does.”
These noteworthy quotes are just a few of many! Terri also uses Scripture throughout the story, my favorite of which is Philippians 4:6-7. Juliet reminds Holly their Dad had them memorize it:
Finally, the character who plays Lily’s father, Creed, wonders if he can truly be forgiven citing some of the mistakes he’s made. Holly tells him, “…Redemption comes from what Christ did on the cross. Taking our punishment for all the messes we’ve made. That the blood He shed for us was enough to wash us clean…”
She tells Creed she truly believes this to be true. She adds, “It’s like…once I trusted that Jesus’ death for me was enough…well, then I stopped hating myself and wallowing in guilt, and I started over, like someone who was fresh and clean. Someone who had a shot at life. And God….He’s sent me a trail of bread crumbs to guide me, you know? And trust me, I needed a lot of crumbs….”
Friends, how Terri weaves Jesus’ redemption for us all in her novel and for these characters you think are beyond grace is beautiful. You don’t want to miss Twisted Innocence!!! You may need to keep a few Kleenex handy!
Please join us Monday, March 28th from 6:30-8:00 p.m. at Branches Book Club meeting, at Middletown United Methodist Church. Bring a friend, or two or ten!
‘Til next time!