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Saved Folk in the House    by Sonnie Beverly order for
Saved Folk in the House
by Sonnie Beverly
Order:  USA  Can
Warner, 2006 (2006)

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* *   Reviewed by Melissa Parcel

Saved Folk in the House takes an intriguing look at the lives of three women with roots in a small Virginia city. Each is trying to live her life in the best way she knows how.

Zakia Wilkes might have made some mistakes in her life, but now things are looking up. She's married to Jay, with a new baby in the house and a wonderful career - everything's picture perfect. But there's a void, and Zakia finds just the thing to fill it in her new church and a relationship with Jesus. Zakia jumps into church activities full speed, but doesn't realize she's leaving her family behind until it's too late.

Nikki Riley moves into a new apartment and develops a connection with a much younger man. Can she trust that God will show her the right direction? LaKisha Mitchell is living with her grandmother since her mother is in jail. She wants to do what's popular, although she knows that the popular choice might not be the right one. Will LaKisha follow the direction given from men and women who have already walked the difficult road, or will she follow her own path?

It's fascinating to watch these women's lives intertwine with each other through the years. The characters are realistic and every reader will be able to relate to someone or some situation in the story. Zakia experiences trials, yet her reliance on God and the way she listens closely to what He is saying through her prayers gets her through. It is refreshing to have a character suffer consequences due to an over-commitment to church. This is a huge issue these days that the author handled with a fresh perspective and grace.

This novel is an excellent example of African-American fiction. It tells a good story, but doesn't get too bogged down with details. I found it compulsively readable, mostly because the characters are so well-defined. My one complaint is that the ending comes from out of nowhere. The final event is not even alluded to earlier, and caught me so off-guard I had to re-read it to see if I had understood correctly. Other than that, Saved Folk in the House is a wonderful book for those who enjoy Christian novels.

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