Our Past Does Not Define Us
White by Denise Weimer is the first book in the restoration trilogy and what a cracking series it promises to be. This is the first novel I have read by Denise Weimer but I want more, more, more!
White is a Christian novel with both a contemporary and historical setting. It is written from the point of view of Jennifer (a house restorer) in the present day, and Georgia Pearl in the 1900’s who lived in the house Jen is restoring.
God features strongly in the novel. Our view of Him often depends on our relationship with our earthly parents but it shouldn’t. God is all loving, whereas our earthly parents can mess up.
Life is a spiritual battle. We are either for God or for the enemy. Once we make a decision for God then the battle can often begin with a vengeance. No matter what battles we face, God is alongside us and He has won the war.
The novel deals with racial segregation, prejudice and the Ku Klux Klan. This doesn’t always make for easy reading but Denise Weimer tackles the topic with sensitivity. Segregation is plain wrong and does not figure so much in the present as in the past. However chosen segregation seems to occur on Sunday mornings as there are predominantly black churches and white churches in America. Jen visits a black church and receives a warm welcome. She ‘feels’ the family of God. “Nobody supports you like your church family in hard times, and there’s no better place to get close to God.”
The theme of belonging is present in the novel. “She’d never felt worthy of belonging.” Jen feels an outsider in the presence of God and feels she must work her way to acceptance. However “God has no step children.” He longs for us to come to Him just as we are.
Events in one’s past have the ability to define us for good or bad. Michael, who owns the house that Jen is renovating, is so busy focusing on his losses in the past that he forgets about his blessings in the present. “That boy is runnin’ from somethin’… nothin’ like the Lord to fix folks, if they’d just ask for help.”
Mixed race relationships were taboo in the early twentieth century. The children of any unions were often confused. Their colour meant they were not accepted in either white America nor African American culture. Sometimes families had to be severed as people had to move away to be accepted into one of the cultures. Families were torn apart, often for generations to come.
White deals with reunions. Sometimes years later. God longs to reunite with any of his children who have moved away.
The novel shows how God cares for all creatures great and small. There is a delightful little kitten who features heavily in the book.
The area of renovation and restoration occurs in the novel. It may be bricks and mortar. Or it may be physical as God restores lost or broken relationships. No one is out of His reach. Our past does not define us.
White is a fabulous novel and I just could not get enough of it. The novel is now ended and I feel bereft without my ‘friends’. Roll on book two.
I received this book for free in exchange for a fair and honest review. No monetary compensation was received and all views expressed are my own.
Link to blog tour on Celebrate Lit