An Appalachian Girl In London
There were many Godly themes including those of new beginnings, guilt and forgiveness. Forgiving other is hard. Forgiving ourselves impossible. “God has forgiven you, yet you are bound by this guilt.” Guilt tied to past actions can keep us locked in the past. We feel too bad to receive God’s forgiveness. “Don’t continue to work for a debt that’s already been paid.” The cross has covered all our sins. We do not need to work our way to forgiveness. Jesus paid the price in full. In him we can have a new beginning. “I can’t change who I was but God could change who I have become.”
We all have baggage. “He was drowning in his memories.” We cannot change the past but we can stop the past from robbing us of present and future joy.
Fear is a major theme. Fear steals our joy. Fear is the opposite of faith. We need to hand our fears over to God and have faith in Him. “We can’t grasp what God has for us if our hands are holding fear.”
Within the novel there is a battle between the old way and the new way. “I can’t be trusted. But Father you can.” When we fear slipping back into old habits, we need to bring our concerns to God who offers us a new way of living.
There is a contrast between “haunting choices and empty pleasures” and Godly choices. “Fame brings people, but not love.”People can be shallow and fickle, judging and wanting things for appearance sake. The character underneath is more important. God looks at the state of our heart.
There were some wonderfully drawn characters and the dialogue bounced beautifully between them. Leading lady Eisley was pure joy, being open and kind. She opened her mouth and spoke without censoring her words which was humorous and something I can identify with. “She didn’t voice her thought out loud…did she?” My heart just warmed to her and her transparent way of living.
Just The Way You Are was a Cinderella type story with the ordinary American girl and the famous English boy. With half the book set in England, it was refreshing to recognise locations set in both London and Derbyshire. The latter had a very Jane Austen Mr Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett feel to it. There were some fabulous moments where a knight in shining armour was definitely need. I enjoyed all the literary references too.
Family is most important. The warmth radiating from the families penetrated my heart. From the youngest to the oldest, all members were loved and cared for.
Just The Way You Are was a wonderful read. It was very Cinderella meets Mr Darcy at times and I was wrapped in a warm cocoon. It was perfectly charming and I cannot wait to read more by Pepper Basham.
I received this book for free. A favourable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.