Issues Of Trust
Not Ever by Amanda Sue King is a delightful Christian novel set in 1980. I absolutely adored it. Amanda Sue King has a style of writing that really means the reader feels included in the action. I strolled through the story with the main character, experiencing her highs and lows.
Not Ever is a story about learning to trust. Learning to trust God and learning to trust people, in particular, men. Treatment at the hands of bad men means trust does not come easy to two of the characters. One, because of fear and intimidation, the other because of disillusionment. Even God cannot be trusted it seems to her. This distrust is robbing the pleasures of life. “Don’t allow pain and distrust to steal your joy.” The walls built to keep others out mean one is a prisoner too.
There is the awful topic of domestic abuse. It is sensitively portrayed enabling the reader to see how one can get locked into the a circle of abuse and how all family members are trapped. The reader feels both empathy and frustration for the situation.
A hard life can make us bitter. It can even cause us to pull away from God. “No longer would I pray to a God who didn’t exist.” God understands our anger and our hurt and He waits for us to return to Him. “God I don’t want to be hurt anymore.” The reader feels the hurt and understands the withdrawal from God and also waits for the character to realise how great God’s love is for her.
Everyone has troubles. Being a Christian does not mean a trouble free life, quite the opposite. God does promise to walk alongside us in our troubles. The reader can recognise God’s hand on the main character’s life, even if she cannot.
The novel shows the importance of good friends. Sometimes they have to almost bully us along to make sure we do not isolate ourselves and to keep us safe. Good friends recognise our needs before we do at times.
There is a wonderful community atmosphere in the novel. The town is made up of all sorts of characters – the gruff but kind hearted type, the good natured gossip, the feisty grandmother – all go to show the town is a mix but pulling together to preserve and protect and love its members.
In spite of the difficult subject matter, the novel has a light hearted feel to it. There were some humorous moments. I particularly loved the picture I had in my head of the small but feisty great grandmother who owned a heavy skillet and was not afraid to use it!
The characters were all wonderfully drawn. I adored the two young children with both their innocence and their vulnerability. The bossy friend in action was a delight to behold. And the two main characters simply took up residence in my heart. The characters were a unique blend perfectly mixing together.
Prayer was important. “We’ll keep praying and trusting.” It is particularly important to pray in the tough times when you feel helpless and at a loss. “You pray believing, but always knowing God’s ways are best.” When life is hard, it is difficult to trust God knows what He’s doing but He sees the bigger picture. We have to hang on and trust that God is good because He is.
Not Ever was a most delightful book. I experienced the journey with the characters and felt welcome and included. I am hoping that because the story was set in 1980, there will be a sequel as I don’t feel I am finished with the characters lives. I want to see what happens next. As the story ended, I felt like I was saying goodbye to old friends and I feel their loss.
A totally wonderful read with important godly themes and lessons to be learnt.
I received this book for free. A favourable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.