Saturday, February 6, 2010

Songs of Deliverance by Marilynn Griffith - REVIEWED

ABOUT THE BOOK: (from the publisher)

They say time heals all wounds--but sometimes that's just not enough.

Fifteen years ago, Zeely Wilkins and Ron Jenkins were students that most people had stopped believing in. Lucky for them, their teacher recognized they were the cream of the crop and just needed the right soil.

Though they went their separate ways, the past has called them back to the school and the teacher who wouldn't give up on them. Now they'll have to decide what love really means--and whether they're willing to dance to a new tune to get it. But can they rediscover the songs of deliverance that once brought them together? Or will their secrets keep them apart?

In this soul-searching and suspenseful story, Marilynn Griffith invites you to believe in the power of truth, love, and redemption.


“There isn’t anything wrong with believing God. The problems begin when you start believing you.” (p.169)

Songs of Deliverance is a story about a group of people who believed a bit too much in their own insecurities, mistakes and failures and wound up in a series of complicated, messy, painful relationships. The lives of Zeely, Ron, Brian, Grace, and a host of other characters introduced in the first book of the series, Rhythms of Grace, come back together as adults some fifteen years after they have known and loved one another as children. They are reunited around the dream of a former teacher, and as they sort through the implications and results of their reunion, things get a lot messier.

I’m going to tell you this up front, I didn’t read Rhythms of Grace, and I had a lot of trouble understanding and following the story line in Songs of Deliverance because of that fact. Another blogger buddy of mine was gracious enough to fill me in on enough back story that I was able to marshal through to the end of the book, but I know the emotional impact of most of this story was lost on me because of my lack of understanding that was to be found only in the first book. With that said, I still think Marilynn Griffith writes some of the most beautiful prose to be found in fiction. She can describe an emotion until you have to check and see whether or not the tears are on the face of the character in the book or whether they are running down your own cheeks. Sometimes they are both.

Songs of Deliverance is a very raw and descriptive story and deals with racial issues that will make many people extremely uncomfortable. The conversations are laced with innuendo many times, and the male/female relationships jump way over the edge of my comfort zone. The passion with which these broken, wounded souls worship is rather humbling to me, and it made me long for some of that same expressiveness in my own relationship with God. I guess what I’m trying to say is this…Marilynn’s characters are all of us really…broken, sinful, wounded souls in desperate need of a Savior. And once we belong to Christ, we still make mistakes, and we still bear the consequences of wrong choices made in the past. That’s life. It’s not pretty. It’s often painful. And sometimes it’s just plain ugly. But God is bigger than all of that, and His love and grace redeem it all once it is brought to the foot of the Cross.

The journey to the Cross…well, that’s everyone’s Songs of Deliverance.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Marilynn Griffith is a freelance writer and conference speaker whose online columns and blogs reach thousands of women each year. She is the author of the Shades of Style series. Marilynn lives in Tallahassee, Florida, with her husband and their seven children.

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