Monday, June 8, 2015

Justified by Varina Denman - REVIEWED

About the Book:
When the privileged daughter of a Texas rancher becomes pregnant by her abusive boyfriend, her small town casts judgment... except for one man who reaches out with tender strength as she learns to forgive herself.

In a forgotten town ruled by gossip, Fawn Blaylock believes others are justified in condemning her sins. Yet a yearning in her soul instills hope for a second chance when the head football coach treats her with gentle respect.

Varina Denman's novel Justified perfectly captures the rhythm and romance of life in a small town. It is the story of a woman searching for renewal, a man looking beyond what others see, and a community struggling to understand them both.

My Thoughts:
These things take time, Fawn.”

These things.  Things like change.  Like forgiveness. Like heartfelt repentance.  I wondered if these things would happen in my lifetime.”   (p. 69)

Justified is a novel  that explores all of these issues in the context of an out-of-wedlock pregnancy, addiction, abuse, and – sometimes even more deadly – small town gossip and judgement.  Fawn Blaylock not only became a single mother, but she also had to face a falling away from her wealthy family’s reputation.  Fawn wasn’t secure enough in her ability to handle things to the point of sharing the abuse she’d suffered at the hand of the baby’s father with others, but she was strong enough to put distance between them.  God placed people in her life that drew her to His love over time, but her journey to that point was filled with fear, indecision and a lot of shame.  Fawn’s life was anything but easy.

The insidious part of the story was Fawn’s parents and Tyler’s hidden abuses.  Fawn had to struggle with forgiving herself as much as she had to struggle to forgive others that had wronged her.  I think a lot of believers will identify with internal battle.  I’m also quite sure that readers will come to love  JohnScott and the easy, laid back way he lives out his faith.  I love the reality that God does indeed introduce people like JohnScott into our lives at just the right moment so that we are drawn to His love and mercy time and time again.

Justified captures the nuances of a small town very accurately!   Almost uncomfortably accurate!  The character development is excellent, and the people in Trapp,Texas come alive in your heart.  This is a perfect book to settle in with and enjoy the easy rhythm of Summer.

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