ABOUT THE BOOK
Can she love the child who broke up her marriage?
Nearly four years ago, Erin Belden’s happy life became a shattered mess. After her husband admitted to an affair and that a child had been conceived, he left her and their young daughter for his new family. Now, she’s finally ready to put the pieces of her life together. She’s set to launch her own business and even thinks her heart might be open to romance—should the right man come along.
But just when everything seems to be lining up, she receives a devastating call: her ex-husband and his wife have been killed in a car accident, and Erin is listed in their will as their daughter’s legal guardian.
How can she be a mother to the child—let alone love the child—who broke up her marriage? Does she have the courage to start over yet again and turn this mess into a mosaic of beauty?
A single mother’s journey from bitterness to forgiveness.
I am having a hard time explaining just how much I loved this book and I wish that I could give it more than five stars! A Beautiful Mess is filled with so many emotions. Extreme hurt. Bitter disappointment. Blinding disillusionment. Intense sadness. And then, finally, restoration and forgiveness.
The characters are very realistic and author Brenda Anderson vividly shows their strengths and their weaknesses. Erin is a Christian but she doesn't always have Christian thoughts and isn't that often true in our times of hurt and anger? She is a loving mother and she finds herself loving the little girl that is the product of her husband's betrayal but she still doesn't believe that she can raise her, as has been requested. Does that reaction seem unrealistic? Jon is a wonderful character and he had been a long-time friend of both Erin and Corey; at first it was hard for me to understand why he is still a bachelor. Michaela is the typical teenage girl hitting puberty and she is still devastated by her parent's divorce four years ago. And then there is Corey, Erin's ex-husband. He cheated on Erin and he left her and their daughter to begin a new family. It is easy to dislike him but as I read his journal I began to see him in a new light. What he did wasn't right and it wasn't excusable but some of his journal entries explain how this could have happened. It is comforting to know that he had asked for forgiveness and he once again was living a Christian life.
This is a wonderful true-to-life story and Anderson perfectly describes Erin's feelings of being overwhelmed. Caring for a teenager and a toddler and trying to establish a new business would be stressful for all of us and dealing with so many conflicting emotions would take a toll on anyone. This isn't always a pretty story but in the end, it is the faith and forgiveness that I will recall; the love and restoration that I will remember about this book.
A Beautiful Mess by Brenda Anderson is part of the Mosaic Collection but it can be read as a stand-alone novel. It is a beautiful story and I highly recommend it!
I received a digital advanced reader copy from the author but I am voluntarily sharing my honest thoughts in this review.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Brenda S. Anderson writes gritty and authentic, life-affirming fiction. She is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, and is Past-President of the ACFW Minnesota chapter, MN-NICE, the 2016 Chapter of the Year. When not reading or writing, she enjoys music, theater, roller coasters, and baseball, and she loves watching movies with her family. She lives in the Minneapolis, Minnesota area with her husband of 30 years, their three children, and one sassy cat.
Readers can learn more about Brenda at her website Facebook Twitter Pinterest
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