The reader crosses from the American countryside to New York City to France and to the jungles of Brazil. From log cabin to expensive town house to the trenches to native villages, the reader is in for a real treat as Gina Holder’s descriptions bring the novel to life.
God is at the heart, as characters seek Him and try to do His will. “Trust God and take a risk.” Following God is not always easy but it is always rewarding.
The will of God links to the missionary theme. Everyone, whether they are in drawing rooms, trenches or jungles needs to hear the Good News of Jesus. “His heart broke at the thought of one of them dying without Christ.” Wherever we are placed, we need to tell others about Jesus.
Trusting God in the good times is relatively easy. Trusting God in the bad times is harder. “God wasn’t fair… Where was God when she needed Him?” When life is hard and we cannot see God, we have to trust Him in the dark.
There is the theme of loss. “Why does everyone always leave?” Knowing God doesn’t mean death isn’t upsetting but we have the hope of heaven and we know that we will see our loved ones again.
The novel shows how it is not wise to be unequally yoked in marriage. “She wanted a man… more concerned with eternal investments than the stock market.” We want the person that God has in mind for us and we want our spouse to love the Lord and not love money and power.
The prodigal son is another theme. The reader sees the pain of the younger son as he feels the comparison with his elder brother and comes up short. In contrast to the biblical story, there is a stubbornness in the heart of the characters.
If we lock up our hearts, we think we cannot be hurt. “If you don’t love, you cannot be hurt.” If we shut our hearts away, we may become bitter. The novel explores the consequences of this and the resulting isolation.
The main message of the story is trust – trust God is good even when life seems to say otherwise. Trust God with your life and surrender to His plan. My very favourite quote was “The will of God won’t lead you where the grace of God can’t keep you.”
Whither Shall I Go? was an absolutely wonderful debut novel from Gina Holder. It was a smashing storyline that had me hooked from the start. Her characters were endearing and I loved her style of writing. I hope that Whither Shall I Go? is the first of many more tales from Gina Holder.
I received this book for free. A favourable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.