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The Pew: Evanville Series Book 1    by Gail Larson order for
by Gail Larson
Order:  USA  Can
Winepress, 2006 (2006)
* *   Reviewed by Melissa Parcel

Three families share a pew each Sunday morning, and although they put on nice Sunday faces, the pew knows their inner hearts and the secrets that they carry.

Luanne Lamont, the small town's librarian, breaks her engagement when her fiancÚ pushes her to do something she isn't ready for. Is there hope that she will find a man who shares her faith and convictions? Evelyn and Bertram Peterson are an elderly couple. Married many years, they faithfully attend church each week. Evelyn is unaware that Bertram does not share her faith in the Lord, or is she? When an incident shakes their cozy world, who can Bertram truly turn to? Cass and Hank Jordan attend church with their son Jeremy. On the surface, they are devoted believers with a heart for the church. But their home life involves Hank's physical abuse of Cass, which might soon turn toward Jeremy. What can be done?

The Pew is an interesting character study focusing on three groups of people with unique problems. It highlights the fact that everyone has things that they hide, and many people have deep hurts and need for true Christian fellowship and assistance. The story points out that what we portray to others on the outside might not be what is going on in our lives. Portions are told from the point of view of the church pew itself. This gives a unique perspective to the problems we all carry and directs how these problems can be turned over to the Lord. Overall, the plot could have been stronger. Cass and Hank's story is the most compelling and interesting, followed by Evelyn and Bertram's, but Luanne's is not as well developed as the rest.

For an intimate look at characters and their individual problems, The Pew is a worthwhile read. It's marketed as the first book in a series about the people of Evanville, and I look forward to learning more about the others and how God is working in their lives.

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