The Pirate Queen by Patricia Hickman
Treasure is found in the most unlikely places. The envy of all her friends, wife and mother Saphora Warren is the model of southern gentility and accomplishment. She lives in a beautiful Lake Norman home, and has raised three capable adult children. Her husband is a successful plastic surgeon--and a philanderer. It is for that reason that, after hosting a garden party for Southern Living magazine, Saphora packs her bags to escape the trappings of the picturesque-but-vacant life. Saphora’s departure is interrupted by her husband Bender’s early arrival home, and his words that change her life forever: I’m dying. Against her desires, Saphora agrees to take care of Bender as he fights his illness. They relocate, at his insistence, to their coastal home in Oriental—the same house she had chosen for her private getaway. When her idyllic retreat is overrun by her grown children, grandchildren, townspeople, relatives, and a precocious neighbor child, Saphora’s escape to paradise is anything but the life she had imagined. As she gropes for evidence of God's presence amid the turmoil, can she discover that the richest treasures come in surprising packages?
I was given the e-book version of this book to review by Waterbrook Multnomah. I had never hear of the author, Patricia Hickman, but the description sounded interesting. I was drawn in after the first few chapters. Hickman's writing style makes the characters come to life and the plot while starting off seemingly predictable takes several unexpected twists which keeps you turning the pages. There were times I laughed, times I got mad, and times I cried. I definitely didn't want to put it down. For me that makes it really good read.
Throughout the book, the themes of forgiveness and grace were woven together in a captivating story which was uplifting and encouraging and pointed toward experiencing God's presence in the midst of pain. The gospel, the redeeming message of Christ, was clearly presented and was well positioned in the plot. My favourite character had to be Tobias, the young boy who unknowingly helps to change Saphora's outlook on life. His positive attitude and determination while faced with huge trials was a challenging example of how to live life fully no matter what you are faced with.
I will definitely be looking for more titles by Patricia Hickman.. especially if I get that Kindle on my wish list (hint, hint my dear hubby:)
Disclaimer: I received this book (e-book version) from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group in exchange for this honest review.