Source: Bought through Half.com.
Book Description, my take:
Lucia Coffey sees herself as fat and a failure. When she looks at her thin, beautiful sister, Sonia, she sees a popular and charismatic ministry leader with a devoted following. Lucia's parents expected her to give up her dreams so that Sonia could attain hers. Lucia believes that God favors Sonia, too--He's given Sonia everything but left Lucia with only broken dreams of a husband with eyes for only her and of a child of her own. Lucia buries her fears and anger by eating food, yet she feels like a worse failure for doing so.
Then Sonia faces a major blow to her life and faith, and she asks for her sister's help. Sullivan Crisp, an offbeat but popular Christian psychologist, is trying to discovery why his wife committed suicide and if his actions played some part in her death. He hopes that finding answers will help heal his shattered confidence in his skills. A friend encourages him to offer to help Sonia cope with the changes in her life, but he ends up helping Lucia instead. Can they find healing before the person who is trying to destroy Sonia's life strikes again?
Healing Waters is a Christian general fiction novel that deals with God's role when it comes to suffering. The characters were complex, varied, and dealt with realistic relationship problems and faith challenges. The suspense mainly came from relationship tensions--Lucia and her husband, Lucia and her sister, etc.--but there was also a mystery as to who was trying to harm Sonia. I was somewhat surprised that the authorities weren't more suspicious of the person who turned out to be "whodunit," so I wasn't surprised by the whodunit.
While the book wasn't "preachy" (except when pointing out the flaws in the "if you just had enough faith...." and "suffering is God's punishment for a sin in your life" belief system), there was a lot of God Talk ("God's going to heal me. I'm expecting a miracle.").
I would agree with Crisp's briefly-stated points about why and how Sonia's belief system wasn't correct (and neither was Lucia's view of God). However, his own stated beliefs about suffering, while sounding profound, left me uncertain as to what he actually believed. Perhaps this will become more clear in the next books in the series since this book makes the point that he's in the process of working through his own questions about suffering.
There were no sex scenes (or anything more intimate than a hug by a husband). There was a minor amount of explicit bad language and some fake bad language. Overall, I'd recommend this well-written, interesting novel.
If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.
Excerpt from Chapter One
I had done everything on my list. Everything but the last item. Neat black checks marked the first five to-dos:
put last layer on torte
call modeling agency--say NO
Before the traffic moved again and I made the turn into tiny Northeast Airport, I put a second check beside number five. I'd shaved twice. Chip liked my legs hairless as a fresh pear. Not that I expected him to be interested in them or in any other part of my ample anatomy, but it couldn't hurt to be prepared for a miracle. In truth, I'd probably broken out the razor again just to procrastinate--because I wasn't sure I could do the sixth thing on the list.
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