Down By The River by Lin Stepp


Down By The River by Lin Stepp is the most charming contemporary Christian novel that I absolutely loved. It is part of A Smoky Mountain series but can be read as a stand-alone.

I adore all Lin Stepp’s books – my favourites are in this series. The stories are always delightful. They truly are a hug in a book as they wrap around my heart like a warm blanket.

Right from the start the reader receives a huge welcome. The story is very community-minded as the residents all look out for each other. The town has an air of love and care. It feels like home. “Home is always a place you can come back to.”

No matter what your age, you are never too old to have a new start – whether it is a physical one or a spiritual one. God longs to welcome us all home to Him.

A character has a fresh beginning, after being widowed in recent years. “Begin to live your own dreams.” All her life, her dreams have been squashed in favour of others. Her talents have been ridiculed as position, wealth and power have been the order of the day. Lives were all about show and polish. The outward appearance was all that mattered. People were judged by what they had. “You worked hard to fulfill those expectations… but you lost a little of yourself along the way. You were so busy being what you should be that you forgot a little of who you really were.” A character lost herself over the years. Now is the time to discover just who she was created to be.

Sometimes life is complicated. We spend our lives trying to juggle everything and cannot see the wood from the trees – but there is One who knows our end from our beginning and He can be trusted. “Don’t worry God will work everything out in His right time.” We can always trust God’s timing. He is never too early nor too late.

Prayer is important. God longs to hear from us. “Jack couldn’t even find the words to pray. He didn’t feel worthy to ask favours of God.” When we have no words, God hears the cries of our heart.

We see the gifts of the Spirit being worked out in God’s children. “I was playing [the organ] by the Spirit.”

There is a strong faith within the novel as characters live a life of love. They are the hands and feet, the eyes and ears of Jesus to a hurting world. “It wasn’t religion I really needed… It was faith.” Religion never saved anyone. Going to church never saved anyone. It is Jesus who saves.

All the characters are wonderfully drawn. Their love shines through the pages. It is easy to picture the characters and landscape in my mind’s eye. Lin Stepp paints the scenery and the characters with her words. I love the fact that the leading characters are approaching fifty and still have a zest for life.

Mothers and daughters relationships are explored. We see both the selfless mother and the selfish mother – and we see the delightful nine year old twins who are wise beyond their years. They have an idyllic childhood setting and it was easy to ‘see’ them playing in the creek.

I cannot get enough of Lin Stepp’s novels. They warm my heart and soul, stir my imagination and leave me smiling.

If you have never read a book by Lin Stepp, you are missing out. Grab yourself a copy of Down By The River today.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.