Thursday, March 13, 2014

How Sweet the Sound by Amy K. Sorrells - REVIEWED

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
How Sweet the Sound
David C. Cook (March 1, 2014)
Amy K. Sorrells


An Indianapolis native and graduate of DePauw University, Amy lives with her husband, three boys and a gaggle of golden retrievers in central Indiana. After writing and editing for her college newspaper, she combined a nursing degree with journalism and creative writing, which led to publishing and editing a wide array of medical and nursing writing and multimedia projects over the past 21 years, a position as director of communications of her church’s children’s ministry, as well as a weekly column for a local newspaper which ran from 2009-2012. She has been a two-time semi-finalist for the ACFW Genesis awards, and was the winner of the 2011 Women of Faith writing contest.

When she’s not reading or writing, Amy loves spending time with her three sons; spicy lunches and art gallery walks with her husband; digging in her garden sans gloves; walking her dogs; up-cycling old furniture and junk; photography; and friends.


From a distance, the Harlans appear to be the perfect Southern family. Wealth and local fame mask the drama and dysfunction swirling through their family line. But as the summer heats up, a flood tide of long hidden secrets surface.

Devastation from a rape followed by the murder of two family members brings three generations of the Harlans together on their pecan plantation in Bay Spring, Alabama. Chief among them is Anniston, who by the time she turned thirteen thought she’d seen it all. But as her heart awakens to the possibility of love, she begins to deal with her loneliness and grief.

This tender coming-of-age tale, inspired by the story of Tamar in 2 Samuel 13, shows how true healing and hope comes only from God. Though our earthly family can wound and disappoint, our heavenly Father brings freedom to those long held captive through His mercy and grace.

My Thoughts:

“…learn to search for your own ladders, places in the clouds where the sky opens up and you can feel the angels pulling pain outta your soul and replacing it with a song.  Watch for the ladders around Comfort…..them ladders are everywhere.”  (p. 255)

The words Earnestine spoke to Anniston come just before the most violent storm to come against the Harlan family – yet.  For you see, the Harlan family is steeped in years of pain and secrets that are almost too hard for anyone to bear.  Even folks reading the fictional tale of this fictional family’s troubles.  Like Comfort and Anniston discover, there are many folks walking around with deep wounds – wounds that they feel they can ignore without repercussion.  That pain grows and destroys unless it is confronted and pulled out of the lives of the wounded, and the Harlan family is almost completely destroyed before the enemy is defeated.

Wow.  This was a painful book to read.  But the story is so real, so poignant, so common, that my heart feels somehow shaken with the truth it reveals.  I am a lifelong Southerner, and I know all too well the secrets that lie hidden deep within the hearts and lives of the walking wounded.  The Harlan family lives all around me. Scary reality.

This is a story of the deepest redemption possible that is brought about by the characters’ surrender to truth and grace.  The price paid just about destroys them, but the grace and mercy they discover echoes Earnestine’s words to Anniston.  God does replace our pain with His song if we allow Him to do the work needed to rid us of our pain.

I cannot begin to describe the vast impact this book has had upon my heart.  Wow!!  How I praise God for His mercy and grace!!

If you would like to read the first chapter of How Sweet the Sound, go HERE.

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