Returning Home by Toni Shiloh is the most delightful Christian romance. It is the first book in the Freedom Lake series and I cannot wait for the rest.
The novel deals with loss – the loss of a planned future that creates a hardening of the heart towards God. “He and God weren’t on speaking terms.” A belief that God has abandoned us is a lie from the enemy. God is always with us and walks alongside us in our pain. He waits for us to return. “Until you turn back to God, you’ll have no peace… bitterness will… take root… until you are godless.”
Past events have the power to cause bitterness to grow and root. The answer is to forgive. Forgive all those past hurts that rob us of present joy.
There is the theme of trust. God longs for us to return to Him and trust Him. “Lord forgive my silence.” We can trust Him at all times. “You don’t have to worry. God’s got this.” Worry is linked to fear. Fear is the opposite of faith. If we have faith and trust God, we need not fear.
There is power in the prayers of a heart fully surrendered to God.
Healing of both bodies and souls is another theme.
The legacy of the past and inheritance are key themes. Our inheritance is both in the terms of property and genes.
The characters are warm and welcoming. The heroine is a delightful mixture of tough enough to survive in a man’s world whilst vulnerable, with doubts and insecurities. The main character is disabled but this does not hold him back. It is refreshing to see life from his point of view. He is more than his disability but for some, they are unable to see past this. God looks at our inward character to see the state of our heart and not the functions of our body.
Returning Home is not only the title but a theme – returning to our roots – a physical place – and returning home to God.
A delightful read. Roll on book two.
I received this book for free. A favourable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.
Thank you so much for your review, Julia!