The Shaking (Strait Truth Series: Book 1) by Celeste Perrino-Walker. 257 pages.
One of the problems with my commitment to read and review as many indie Christian books as I can find is often you get misses. But sometimes you find a hit, and this is one of those.
The Shaking is actually two stories in one. The first tells the story of Brooke Merrill, a lesbian who has found Christ and left her lifestyle behind her. Unfortunately, too many people are willing to remind her where she was and too few are willing to embrace her. She keeps up her courage by reciting scripture to herself, and leaning on her relationship with a forgiving Christ. It’s hard for her, but there are victories too. She surrounds herself with others who have been rejected by humanity, but not by Christ.
The second story follows this same group of friends and fellow believers who go through a time that is rapidly moving from bad to worse. It is a time known to some theologies as The Shaking, and is obviously setting the book up for an end-time scenario (which seems to be the rage these days). It is a vicious, violent world, and the group–and Brooke–struggle to not be gobbled up by this world.
This is a great book, but not perfect. I found a few minor typos, and there were a couple of technical issues I won’t bore you with (they bother me, but they most likely wouldn’t bother you). Probably the biggest thing–and it’s not that big–is plausibility in one scene. One of the characters receives an out-of-the-blue proposal for marriage, and she immediately accepts. I find it hard to believe that someone who had no indication of being attracted to someone can immediately say yes. But I could be wrong; it wouldn’t be the first time.
But as I say, those are minor quibbles. The book brings up an issue that should have been brought up years ago. In Jesus’ day, the disciples had a hard time accepting the Woman at the Well, and Mary Magdalene, because of their background. That problem has never gone away. But Jesus not only speaks out against such behavior, he embraces these otherwise “unworthy” people. As scripture says, “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Who are we to pick and choose?
The sad part in all of this is that the people who need to read this probably won’t simply because it hits too close to home. I am talking about the gay community, who have almost completely given up on the Christian community, based on the fact that we won’t accept them. The other group is, well, us, especially those who are passing judgment on those with a gay lifestyle. Celeste has had the courage to write this book, which confronts both groups and challenges them to find acceptance, forgiveness and unity through Jesus Christ.
I give it, without hesitation, five stars out of five.