Blurb from Goodreads …
What do you do when you realize that everything you are is a lie?
Sarah Daniels seems to have the perfect life–a successful career as an erotica author, a successful lawyer husband, thousands of adoring fans, and the freedom to do whatever she wants. Or does she?
Behind the façade, her marriage is in a shambles, she hates what she writes and the people who read it, and feels trapped behind the masks of her own making. A cancer diagnosis has just dealt the final blow to the shaky foundations of her life.
A chance encounter with Steve McGuire–a man who gave up the rat race to help Mumbai’s prostitutes, and who finds joy in every little thing–makes her question her priorities and wonder if it’s time for a change. His example and friendship inspires her to start a journey to find God, healing, and her authentic self.
Can Sarah rediscover her passion for life with a death sentence hanging over her head? Can she conquer her personal demons and break free from her abusive past so that she can truly live?
Will Sarah ever know what real love is?
Finding Heaven is an inspirational novel about healing from the hurts of abuse.
Riveting. Heartbreaking. Inspirational. Raw. Compassionate.
*** Review Note: I was approached by Talena Winters, and given an eARC in exchange for an honest review. I thank you Talena for allowing me to read a piece of your heart and soul. My review is of my own volition. ***
*** TRIGGER WARNING! This book contains topics such as; sexual abuse, rape, and domestic violence. This also includes a couple of fairly graphic scenes of such nature. A side topic, of equal importance, that is touched upon is sex trafficking. ***
Now, speaking as someone who is a survivor of all but one of the above tragedies (sex trafficking), Talena had me snot crying throughout most of the book. Sarah is almost literally the book form of me, my experiences, and my Spirit.
I understand that the healing process was accelerated in the book, for the book’s sake, but I do want to point out, that sometimes, in rare or uncommon happenstance, someone’s healing process could present itself in a short time frame. A lot can happen in six months to a year. But what I loved is while the main changes happened in this time frame, that doesn’t mean that the healing process stopped. Healing is a continual process. Especially when you dig deep and begin the process from the very beginning.
The doubts, the insecurities, the mistrust Sarah has, and is trying to grapple throughout the book is very real, and very raw. Making the excuses for the ill-behaviour of her husband, and even of family from her childhood past, is quite normal, and common amongst those who’ve been violated in ways they should have never been violated. The strength and attitudes of Steve, is exactly what Sarah needs to finally make the positive changes in her life. Even with all her own doubts and insecurities still consuming her. She thinks highly of Steve, but, even Steve has a past he’s not so proud of, and his own doubts and insecurities. Be he relies on his faith, and the love of his family, and true friends, to get him through it. Steve is a pillar of constant compassion and friendship to Sarah in her moments of need. Never weavering, even if Sarah pushes him away.
Love Mumbai. We need more of that in life too. I know we do, I know there are several different organizations who contribute, fight, and help those stuck in the awful world of sex trafficking, but we need more. We really do need more. And we need more people like Steve to spearhead such endeavors.
The series of events throughout this book gripped me from the first page, until the very last. I cheered Sarah on from day one, and wanted to kick her husband’s, Craig, teeth in. I loved Nelson, and I think we all need a Steve in our corner.
Faith. Particularly, Faith in God. I loved the way in which Talena handled this topic in the book as well. It was soft, it was gentle, compassionate, and not pushy. It wasn’t about power, but something that was truly accepting. It was love. And faith, and devotion.
As someone who is not of the Christo-Judaic faith or practices, but a very Spiritual and Faithful person in my own right, I can completely appreciate the tender attentiveness Talena captures in God, and also allowing someone to heal, and reconcile themselves in their Faith, or lack thereof.
As harrowing as the topic matter is, I do fully, recommend this book to anyone.
It’s about unearthing the real you after being under the mudslide for so long.
It still tugs at my heartstrings.
Author Interview to come!
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Self portrait done by Talena Winters