Before I get in to what I thought about the book “Of Stillness and Storm,” I gotta give a little background for my viewpoint.
First, I grew up a PK — preacher’s kid — and growing up a PK is hard. People joke about how the call of a pastor isn’t just on the pastor but on his family too. Unless you’re in that family you have no idea how true that really is. The families of pastors and missionaries sacrifice that member of their family to the Lord’s work, and you feel bad getting too upset about it because well, they’re doing the Lord’s work. But too many times ministers forsake one call for another, leaving behind the call of a husband and father to their family at home to the “more important call” to their church and community. I’m not so sure that’s what God intends. Yes, it’s tough to manage both roles, to pastor a church and ALL that that entails and to be a husband and a father, but just because it takes extra effort doesn’t mean it’s not worth working at or doing well. I’ve seen it done bad and I’ve seen it done well. The impact on the family is significant either way.
Second, ‘Of Stillness and Storm’ involves an emotional affair by a woman who’s missionary husband has emotionally forsaken her and their child for the lost in Nepal. He’s there physically, albeit intermittent, but his heart is sold out to the lost and that doesn’t leave much left for his family unfortunately. Shades of her story resemble some of my own experiences.
So for these reasons I related to parts of this story in a very personal way.
So the book … left me wanting more! Which is a good thing. Author Michele Phoenix did such an amazing job creating characters and situations that I care about that I want there to be a future book that tells me what happens next. In fact I actually tweeted the author to ask if there was a sequel in the works. It turns out there’s not, but I wish there was! Without spoiling anything let’s just say the story comes to an end but doesn’t come to a conclusion, if that makes sense.
One of my favorite moments was early in the book when Lauren and Sam are falling in love. Lauren is a little scared of what’s going on with Sam and tells her friend she’s trying to play it safe with him, not take the risk of anyone getting hurt. Her friend encourages her with a quote from C.S. Lewis:
‘To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken.”
Then her friend says something just as profound as Lewis:
“You can keep your heart safe or you can lay it on the line and mend it when it breaks. A heart unrisked is a heart unshared — and yours is too good to waste.”
I’m kinda scared to fall in love (again) so I understood well Lauren’s fear and found the Lewis quote and the friend’s comment poignant to my own situations.
Later in the story I underlined this thought by Lauren as she reminisced about someone she loved in the past:
Love, like grief, doesn’t die. It bleeds until it can no more. Then, pale and listless, sleeps.
Hmm. Interesting to compare love and grief; I’ve experienced both deeply. I think I get it though. When do you fall out of love? Like, can you name the moment when you stop loving someone. Similarly, when do you stop grieving a loss? Some say never but for most grief wanes over time and then one day, after enough time or distance has passed, grief kinda stalls and lies dormant, which means it can be awakened again without notice, rhyme or reason. Is love like that too? Maybe so. Something to ponder.
One more thing to point out: This story incorporates the dangers of reconnecting with old boyfriends or old crushes on social media. One of the neat things about sites like Facebook is reconnecting with people from your past. But many relationships and marriages have been uprooted and undone by it. Something to be extremely careful about.
Review in a nutshell:
- Enjoyed it
- Related to struggles and characters
- Underlined some cool quotes
- Wished there was a sequel
- Be careful reconnecting with old boyfriends on Facebook
- 3.8/5 stars
I received a free early release copy of this book exchange for this review from Litfuse Publicity Group. More on Litfuse and Of Stillness and Storm here.