Widow by Denise Weimer is the second book in the Restoration series but can be read as a stand-alone as any information needed from the first novel is incorporated into the second one. It is both a contemporary and a historical Christian novel. Much of the action is present day but some is mid nineteenth century.
Widow is an amazing read. The detail about garments and furnishings is comprehensive and a delight for the reader. Denise Weimer has clearly researched thoroughly.
It was an absolute pleasure to catch up with all the characters from book one, including Yoda the kitten. As Denise Weimer writes with care about even the smallest kitten, the reader is reminded that God cares about every detail of our lives. Nothing is too big or too small for Him.
God is central to the novel. There are well established Christians and there are new Christians in the story. Denise Weimer demonstrates how we need to support each other and build each other up in our faith. God is a powerful God and when we let Him into our lives we should hand control over to Him. “When you committed your life to Him, you agreed to let Him be the pilot.” As Christians we need to be in tune with God and listen for His guiding. “The power of God was showing up there, not in loud and forceful demonstrations, but in a quiet soul searching manner.” The voice of God is sometimes just a whisper.
God is always with us. The novel shows that there is more to life than what we can see. “Dark times can leave dark shadows.” Life is a spiritual battle and “When God’s at work and God stuff starts to happen, there’s always opposition.” We need to arm ourselves with God’s word and with prayer.
Within the novel characters place much emphasis on the power of prayer. Characters pray in the bad times, in the good times, and for help and guidance. This reminds the reader that we should pray at all times and we should expect answers to prayer.
Life is not always nice or fair. Within Widow there are tough themes of domestic and child abuse. Denise Weimer sensitively presents both areas. Domestic abuse can trap a wife “No one knew I had been plunged into the depths of a slavery no less binding, but far subtler than hers (a Negro servant).” Domestic abuse is not new. It has been around for centuries. There is also the topic of rape, racial prejudice and illegitimate children. Again, these are sensitively covered.
Linked in to these dark themes is the theme of forgiveness. Forgiveness is powerful. Forgiveness is freeing for the victim. It is acknowledging that the perpetrator has no power over you. On our own, we may be unable to forgive, but calling out to God means He will stand alongside you and give you the strength to forgive.
God is a God of restoration. He will restore the years that the locusts have eaten. As Jennifer restores the properties within the novel, so God is restoring lives. The buildings to be restored can be seen as a motif for broken lives. “It isn’t about buildings. It’s about relationships.” With love and care and attention both buildings and people can be restored to their former glory.
There are some wonderful characters within Widow. They are fully rounded and realistically drawn. The reader can empathise with both their fears and their dreams. I found myself getting quite excited at some of Jennifer’s restoration projects. Her enthusiasm was contagious. I loved the relationship between Jennifer and twelve year old Montana – they encouraged each other and built each other up, showing that friendship can surpass age boundaries.
I have absolutely adored the first two books in the Restoration trilogy and am eagerly awaiting the third book. Denise Weimer is a superb author who certainly knows how to draw her reader into her novels.
Give yourself a treat and buy both White and Widow 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.