The Kingsbury Collection by Karen Kingsbury, is a three novel compilation by a New York Times Best-Selling Author and “Queen of Christian Fiction”. The three Christian novels include Where Yesterday Lives, When Joy Came to Stay, and On Every Side.
Where Yesterday Lives
Of the three books, this one was my favorite and the hardest for me to read… Ellen Barrett is a journalist and is married to a sports announcer. The oldest of her three sisters and brother, she is called home after her father dies from a sudden heart attack. Ellen and her husband are having problems in their marriage, and she travels back to her hometown alone. Except, guess who still lives in her hometown? Her ex-boyfriend Jake. She arrives back home and is instantly thrown into the chaos of her family. The siblings don’t get along well and haven’t for quite some time. Ellen longs for the happy family she once knew before they grew apart. While at home, there is hatred, fighting, love, and laughter. Above all, there is healing.
When Joy Came to Stay
Maggie seems to be the perfect wife and mother. She has the perfect job. Until one day, when it all falls apart at the seams. Maggie has been living a lie. She attempted to walk away from her past and create a new one. Maggie’s husband doesn’t know anything is wrong until she checks into a psychiatric hospital. Ben (her husband) begins to search for answers in Maggie’s past. Meanwhile, Amanda is a little girl who is falling through the cracks of the foster system, with only God as a friend.
On Every Side
Faith Evans is a nightly news anchor that has to take a stand for her beliefs and a statue of Jesus in a small park. Jordan Riley is a human rights lawyer who is deeply troubled and is struggling with God. Together, they go head-to-head in a battle over Jesus. Faith and Jordan have been friends for years. Faith decides to take her battle of Jericho Park to the airwaves at the risk of her career and Jordan does everything in his power to have the statue moved. Then, when a teacher loses his job because of Jordan for wanting to pray with a student… you won’t believe how things turn out.
All three of these books were excellent. They didn’t have perfect Christians in them, nor were they preachy or lofty. All the characters in the books were “normal” Christians who struggle with their faith on a daily basis. All were confronted with challenges and had to fight temptation and lean on God to choose what was right.
As I mentioned earlier, the first book-Where Yesterday Lives- was my favorite and the hardest for me to read. The family had their issues and when the dad died suddenly, they had to confront their issues with life, God, each other and their father head on. It was the only way each of them would heal from their own personal struggles. This book hit home for me, not because of the family strife, but because my father died suddenly from what we presume was a heart attack. It is amazing the things you realize you took for granted and never took the time to say to a loved one.
All three of these stories will make you laugh and cry. They all are facing difficult times, but with their belief and strength in God, they get through their problems and strengthen their faith and relationships.
I received this book for free from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.