God’s Enduring, Unending and Everlasting Love
Someone Like You by Victoria Bylin is a contemporary Christian novel which I thoroughly enjoyed. It was my first by Victoria Bylin but I shall be hunting out more. On the surface it was a charming story but dig deeper and you will find the tale of God’s enduring, everlasting and unending love.
Zeke and Julia knew each other in college. Six years later their paths cross again. Their lives have altered but their connection to each other hasn’t.
The novel deals with the theme of single parents as Julia has a four year old son, Max. Victoria Bylin shows how it takes a community to raise a child in the way he should grow. There is no judgement nor condemnation, just love for both Max and Julia.
Faith permeates the novel. Julia is a new Christian learning how to lean on God and not on her own understanding. Her mother Ellen is a Christian whose faith defines her. George is “a man who fell short but loved God with all his heart.” Victoria Bylin shows that the Christian life is a journey. One may not always have it all together but we are all a work in progress as we follow Jesus.
Zeke, the son of a preacher has spent his whole life trying to be a good Christian. Six years ago he walked away from God believing he would never be good enough. “He’d tried his best to be a model Christian in college, but somehow he could never work hard enough or love God enough.” Zeke has missed the point. It is never about being good enough nor working our way to God. “We don’t have to TRY to be Christians. We ARE Christians… Christ did the work for us.” We just need to say yes to God.
There is the theme of searching in the novel. Zeke is searching for God, he just doesn’t realise it yet. “He’s lost but he wants to be found.” There is a continual searching for a goat who keeps escaping from his pen. This could be a motif for us. We keep moving away from God in our actions but He continually keeps looking for us and will not let us go because He loves us.
The theme of Fathers runs throughout Someone Like You. Zeke was continually working to please his father. He felt he was a disappointment to him. “Zeke had disappointed both God and his earthly father more times than he cared to admit.” Zeke always knew that his father loved him, but he has doubts that he is good enough for God and hence he walked away. Earthly fathers can mess up. Max’s father leaves much to be desired but God will never let us down or mess up.
Forgiveness and grace are twin themes within the story and often go hand in hand. We need to extend and receive both especially when it feels contrary to our human nature.
The novel is about second chances. Second chances at both love and life. God is the God of new beginnings. No matter what has gone before, there is always the opportunity to have a fresh start with God.
Integrity of character is of vital importance. With it comes both respect and trust of others.
Fear is another theme within the novel. Ellen’s husband Ben died young. He was the love of her life. Ellen fears loving like that again as she does not want to be broken again. However she realises that “we can trust God or we can live in fear.” Trusting God will always bring freedom.
The characters are all delightfully drawn, so they feel more like friends. Max is wonderful and there are some very touching moments with him.
Someone Like You was a perfectly lovely heart warming story which I read in just one sitting. I absolutely loved it and am missing the characters and the wonderful exchanges of dialogue, as well as those very amusing moments that had me literally laughing out loud. A real feel good novel. Give yourself a treat and read it today.
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.