Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Book Review - The Weight of Shadows

Title: The Weight of Shadows
Author: Alison Strobel
Publisher: Zondervan
Publication Date: May 7, 2010
Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN: 978-0310289456

From the Back Cover

After a difficult childhood, Kim has built a successful life for herself. She'd leave it all, though, if she could be rid of her guilt over a tragic mistake she made years ago. When she meets Rick, she finds everything she needs, even a way for her to pay for her sins.

Kim and Rick's new neighbor, Joshua, knows more than Kim realizes about Rick, but Joshua has battles of his own to fight. Having already lost his wife and his job, he risks giving his in-laws the ammunition they need to gain custody of his daughter if he gets involved.

Debbie, who has saved countless women through the shelter she runs, has the power to help, but she might be as desperate for love as the women she serves. Ultimately, Kim must decide if her penance is more important than protecting an innocent life - and if she should dare leave Rick when he has the power to bring her hidden crime to light.

A gripping novel, The Weight of Shadows explores how the choices we make - and the courage we find to forgive - can touch the lives of others forever.

My Review

Okay, first? That new book smell? Oh so heavenly. I inhaled deeply, and repeatedly.

*ahem* Now that that's out of the way...

I do believe this was the first book I've ever read by someone I knew. As I started to read, I kept picturing Alison writing this book, holed up somewhere typing away, putting her thoughts to paper, giving life to her characters. It was very...odd.

But wow. By the end of the first chapter, I was hooked. Wholly absorbed. The Weight of Shadows is one of those wonderfully engaging books that draws you into the characters' world and lives. The characters had depth and were relatable in their thoughts, actions and weaknesses. When I had to put the book down to resume my motherly duties, I found myself counting down the hours until my sweet little cherubs' bedtime when I could get back to it - and then stayed up far too late to finish it.

I must admit, I'm not often a fan of Christian fiction books. I find too many of them to be fluffy in their subject matter and over-simplified in their conclusions. This, however, was definitely not "fluff". Alison isn't afraid to tackle the harder issues that others shy away from. It was a difficult read in some ways, as I related to some of the struggles and was faced with the harsh realities of others. The Weight of Shadows deals with issues of shame, grief, guilt, domestic abuse, family struggles, faith and more.

The domestic abuse storyline, though difficult to read through, granted me a better understanding of what keeps a woman in an abusive relationship. I confess that I struggle with understanding that, as hard as I try to. Having never been in an abusive relationship before, however, I know that so much is at play that I simply cannot understand. I appreciated gaining more insight into both the circumstances in which a women finds herself in an abusive relationship, and the reasons she stays in one.

I also appreciated the unique perspective Alison brought to her book as a Christian mother. It is rare to read a book that includes a parent who disciplines their child with grace and gentleness and who stands strong in the face of criticism from others in regards to certain parenting choices. As a mother who practices attachment parenting and gentle discipline, I could relate in many ways.

This book is a beautiful testament to grace, hope, healing, and the strength we find in ourselves and gain from others as we walk through life's trials.

And More!

You can follow the rest of the Book Tour on Alison's blog here. On July 18th, one week after the close of the tour, Alison will be choosing one commentor from a randomly selected blog to receive either autographed copies of her first three books or a gift card to their favorite bookstore.

I'll be doing a giveaway here at The Hippie Housewife as well! One lucky commenter will receive a free copy of The Weight of Shadows. I will draw for the book on July 11, the close of the tour - and my birthday! (Feel free to send me lots of birthday love!)

As an added bonus, the ebook version of The Weight of Shadows is being offered for free for Amazon Kindle, Sony Reader, and Apple iPad until June 19th. You can find out more about that here. The Weight of Shadows can be purchased at Amazon.ca, Amazon.com, or Christianbook.com.

Contest closed! The winner is entry number six:
Adrian said...
Some how I missed this review. Sounds like a really great book. I'll have to add it to my list. :)

Congratulations, Adrian!

(This is an unpaid review. I received a complementary copy of the author's book in order to provide my honest review of it. I receive no compensation for any downloads or sales made as a result of this review.)


  1. Thank you SO much for your sweet review, Cynthia! I'm so glad you enjoyed the book. :)

  2. I can't remember now how I found your blog. But thanks for the book recommendation. I just downloaded the ebook.

  3. I, too, struggle with the whys of domestic abuse. This book helped me understand it a little more.
    desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

  4. It sounds like a good read. I'll have to add it to my ever growing list for post graduation (when I have time).

  5. Happy Birthday! It does sound like a great book!

  6. Some how I missed this review. Sounds like a really great book. I'll have to add it to my list. :)

  7. LOVE your blog...I'm a fellow Vancouverite homeschooling mom!

  8. I love your review of this, and I appreciate that you said it's not a fluff piece. I sometimes have a hard time with Christian lit for that reason. Thanks for the great review!