Of Stillness and Storm by Michele Phoenix ~ Review

Of Stillness and StormMy Review:

Lauren follows her missionary husband, Sam, to Nepal, a country racked by poverty, unstable government, and terrifying beauty. She does her best to be a good wife to Sam, and mother to their 13 year old son, Ryan, but with Sam away three weeks to every one week at home, and Ryan slowly slipping into sullenness, she struggles to hear God's reassurance in being in Nepal.

Suddenly an old friend comes back into her life with  startling news, that leaves Lauren pulled in two different directions, straddling two worlds, her present and her past.

I was drawn to this book because of the setting. I work in health clinic where we see many Bhutanese/Nepali refugees, and they have many intriguing stories of the poverty, corrupt government, unpredictable landslides, and day to day instability and how few the opportunities are few for employment in Nepal. So when I saw this book I wanted to read it to learn more about beautiful but heartbreaking land. Ms. Phoenix did a great job of painting a realistic picture of the poverty that is present in many regions, showing the stark differences from life in the USA.

Lauren struggles to be the poster missionary's wife, where Sam has always been a dreamer, idealistic, yet determined, Lauren has always played it safe. The story is told in the present day with flashbacks to when they first met in Austria, and what eventually brought them to Nepal. We also get a peek into her childhood friendship with Aidan, and how everything brings them to where they are now.

I liked the stark rawness of this book and how it shows a different more honest side of missionary life, that it isn't all glamour, tent revivals, miraculous medical treatments, but it can be lonely and desolate as well. I think that Ms. Phoenix did an amazing job with the characters, and bringing them to life, I felt that I could see why many of them did what they did, and how their different personalities and mindsets affected their choices throughout.

Overall, a well written and thoughtful read, full of emotions and memories, good and bad. I loved and hated the bittersweet ending, but applaud this novel for tackling a unique setting and subject.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and testimonials in Advertising."

A tale of troubled love and honorable intentions gone awry—don't miss Michèle Phoenix's new intimate and bold release, Of Stillness and Storm. It took Lauren and her husband ten years to achieve their dream—reaching primitive tribes in remote regions of Nepal. When a friend from Lauren’s past enters her life again, the tension of coping with the present while reengaging with the past might be too much. Will it be the family's undoing?

Take Michèle's new book with you on your winter vacation and enter to win her Bookworm On-the-Go Prize Pack (because you can't take a stack of books with you when you travel).


One grand prize winner will receive:
Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on December 31. The winner will be announced January 3 on Michèle's blog.


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