Tuesday, July 08, 2008

My Review: Love Starts with Elle

This book is about a young woman who lives in the South Carolina Low Country. She is engaged to marry a handsome charming man who is also a minister at her church. The book is the story of her relationship with him and her relationship with a man who is renting a house from her--and as you can probably guess from the title, by the end of the book she finds love.

The main character belongs to some generic Christian church and that is where her renter attends church as well. I found a couple of things interesting about the religious aspects of the book. First, after a crisis point in her life the main character, at the urging of an older woman in the congregation, starts going to the chapel (which used to be the church before it was outgrown) to pray for an hour every morning. A Catholic doing this would be praying in front of the Blessed Sacrament. I guess even among low church Protestants there is a sense of the church building as a holy place. The second thing I found interesting is a scene from the novel her renter is writing. He is writing about a WWII pilot and the girl he left behind, who just happens to be a minister's daughter. Well, before the pilot left, they got too close and soon thereafter she learned that she was pregnant. After telling her dad about the pregnancy, she decides that the way to deal with it is for her to stand up in front of the congregation and confess her sin and express repentance. I guess in some ways I can see that as her sin was going to be pretty evident very soon. However, the story then states that after her confession, one man in the congregation stood up, with his wife sitting beside him, and confessed to adultery and that other people also confessed sins that were heretofore not known to the congregation. One thing I often heard on AOL religious debate boards was "Why do you Catholics go to confession? We confess our sins to God, not to some man" I may confess to a man (who is sitting in the person of Christ) but what is said in that room remains in that room. I just can't see confessing private sins to a room full of people.

The author brings out some interesting facts about people in this book. How often do we ignore the gifts God has given us (and wants us to use) because of what people say? How often do we ask God's guidance in making life decisions? Do we allow God to use the valleys of our life to bring us back to Him?

I enjoyed the book and recommend it.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the review. :) Nice to hear your thoughts.

    The scene with Kelly confessing her sins was intended for her to go public because her sin would be public soon.

    However, once she does, others are convicted. I've been in these kinds of meetings. They are rare and usually so infused with the presence of God people don't care about repenting in front of others.

    But it encouraged people to be honest with themselves, whether they went public or not.

    :) Anyway, my thinking was her confession sparked a "revival" or "renewal" of hearts.



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