Mars With Venus Rising by Hope Toler Dougherty

Gifts From God

Mars With Venus RisingMars With Venus Rising by Hope Toler Dougherty is a delightful Christian novel and I just could not get enough of it!

Penn lives in Mars with her aunts Winnie and Jancie. They always have her best interests at heart. Once they meet newcomer John, so they begin match making!

The aunts practice the gift of hospitality. They are always cooking and feeding up people. Their generosity knows no bounds. Their recipes are included at the back of the e-copy.

The novel is a very comforting novel. Reading it is like wearing your favourite snugly jumper and eating chocolate. It is a delightful, warm novel and definitely has the ‘feel good’ factor.

Mars With Venus Rising deals with a great many themes. Penn was made an orphan after a plane crash killed her parents and brother when she was very young. That day has defined her. She broke contact with her best friend Abby as seeing her was too painful. “She cried for the friendship fractured forever because of her survivor’s guilt.” Penn cannot move past that day.

The theme of fear runs throughout the novel. Penn fears a great many things – she fears flying, she fears loving and she fears losing her aunts. Penn believes in God but her fears seem bigger than God. Penn needs to look up to God and take her focus off her fears.

Penn is afraid to live again. “Stepping outside the box you’ve erected around yourself helps you grow.” Penn needs to master her fears and tear down the walls she has built.

Penn’s aunts Winnie and Jancie are so loveable. They never stop giving. They never stop loving. “They gave her (Penn) everything they could, except what she wanted most of all – her parents and her brother back.” Penn recognises their love but still yearns for her parents and brother.

The novel shows how damaging labels can be. Penn has given herself several labels – ‘orphan’, ‘fearful’ etc – she needs to remove these labels and put on God’s labels of ‘loved’ and ‘forgiven’.

Forgiveness is a theme within the story. “Thank You for forgiving me. Now help me to forgive myself.” John has a past, a past he is not particularly proud of. He needs to let it go and forgive himself.

Hope Toler Dougherty shows how important it is to know God’s word and to have foundations in Him. “Those verses hadn’t surfaced in years, but they’d come to her exactly when she had needed them, dormant until such a time as today.” We too need to be grounded in God, so when times are hard, we can draw on His promises.

Mars With Venus Rising was such a wonderful book. I read it in just two sittings. I now feel quite bereft to have left the company and hospitality of Winnie and Jancie. I definitely want more, more, more!
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.

JULIA WILSON

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