In The Weight of Shadows Ebook, by Alison Strobel, after a difficult childhood, Kim has built a successful life for herself … but she'd leave it all if it meant being rid of the guilt she harbors over a tragic mistake she made years ago. When she meets Rick, she finds everything she needs—including a way to pay for her sins every time he hits her. Kim and Rick's new neighbor, Joshua, knows more than Kim realizes about Rick, but Joshua has battles of his own to fight. Soon to intersect Kim's and Rick's lives is Debbie, who has saved countless women from abuse through the shelter she runs, but Debbie might be as desperate for love as the women she serves. Meanwhile, as Rick's wrath extends to their baby, Kim must decide if her penance is more important than protecting that innocent life—and if she should dare leave Rick when he has the power to bring her hidden crime to light.
User Ratings and Reviews
5 Stars Puts a Weight on your heart
This is the first novel I've read by Alison Strobel and it was amazing! The Weight of Shadows is not a touchy, feely, life-is-perfect novel. In fact, it's hard hitting and a stark contrast to most of the Christian novels I read.
Alison tackles topics that you don't see very often, if at all in Christian fiction and she doesn't hold back. Abuse and self-cutting are the two topics that are tackled in The Weight of Shadows and you can tell Alison did her homework.
When Kim meets Rick, you think this is a sweet match made in heaven. Unfortunately, heaven doesn't last long for this couple. Kim learns very quickly that Rick has expectations and they had better be met.
Debbie is struggling after the loss of her sister a number of years before. She deals with the struggle by throwing herself into her job. Her work at the Women's shelter is becoming more of a weight to bear.
Joshua lost his wife and is beginning to move on with his daughter. His in-laws bring tension into their lives that no one deserves. This was one of the best parts of the story, even though it was a hard one to read. Alison didn't hold back with the nastiness of the in-laws and Joshua tried to be as kind as possible, but had to draw the line at some point.
The lives of Kim, Rick, Debbie and Joshua begin to intersect as the story unfolds. You don't lose site of the story lines as you read through the Weight of Shadows. You are more and more drawn in.
Yes, faith is involved in the novel, but Alison doesn't clobber you over the head with it. Not that there's anything wrong with being clobbered by the Lord. =)
I have got to say, this will be in the top 5 books that I've read this year, if not the best!
I received this book from Alison & Zondervan to read for a review. The opinions expressed are completely my own. You can see the rest of my post [...]
2 Stars Spoiler Alert!
This book disappoints on so many levels, from poor grammar and formatting issues to unrealistic characters and one huge, totally unbelievable "coincidence." And that doesn't even take into account the holier-than-Jesus Christians in this book. Give me the "Jesus Mean and Wild" variety over the mealy-mouthed "It's okay that you killed our daughter. I'm sure you didn't mean to and besides it was probably her fault anyway, and we know we will see her in heaven, so don't worry about it" variety any day. Any day!
Based on the descriptions of this book, I could hardly wait to read it, but the book just didn't live up to my expectations. Some of the minor irritations included the author's omission of the word "of" as in "a couple dining room chairs" and "A couple hours later…" One character "ran a hand through his blond bed head," another gave someone "a ginger hug," and yet another worried about "falling pregnant." The grandparents came across as buffoonish caricatures rather than real people who were hurting over the loss of their daughter. Yes, there are people who act like that, but in my opinion the book would have been better if they had been toned down a bit and made a little more realistic and sympathetic. In spite of that, I found the story interesting enough to continue reading. But I found it absolutely infuriating for a mother to tell the murderer of her daughter, "Loss is a part of life," and then to equate the death of a child to a loss of custody. At least Debbie, whose sister was killed, expressed some anger, but the author's desire to tie everything up neatly left a lot to be desired. Should we forgive? Absolutely, but forgiveness does not come easily nor does it come without cost.
I think Alison Strobel has talent and I hope she will continue to develop her voice. I also hope that people who have lost a child from any cause will avoid this book.
5 Stars Great fiction with a real life message.
I really liked the message in this book. Thankfully, I've never been in an abusive relationship, but it seemed so accurate and tears rolled down my cheek, more than once. I like that it's a Christian book, but entertaining fiction. I plan to check out other books by this author.
5 Stars Our Shadows Weigh Us Down
This book was a pleasant surprise! It correctly pointed out many aspects of domestic violence and was a wonderful presentation of Christianity. Domestic violence is a python that grabs at the heart and soul of the victim. This book did a wonderful job delving into the psyche of the victim (Kim) and how the past mistakes in her life convinced her that she DESERVED the abuse. This is so typical. I thought the subject of abuse was covered very well and correctly and I also loved the presentation of the Gospel, and how turning your life over to Jesus Christ can turn those weighty shadows into JOY.
Excellent book. If you know of someone who is being abused, this would be a great book to give them to start them thinking about a way out.
5 Stars Faith gives hope
I waited to start reading the book until I had sometime to devote to it. I could tell from watching the trailer it wasn't a light read. I was worried it would be sad, and there were sad things in the story, but it was an overall positive story. The characters worked hard to overcome weaknesses and used or developed faith to move past their past.
I enjoyed the characters and was drawn into their stories. I sometimes get nervous when the story is told by more than one person's point of view, because it can be hard for me to follow along, but I found it very easy to in Alison's book. Their voices were very distinct and their stories were interesting and intriguing to follow.
It was hard to read about Kim's domestic abuse relationship she was in, but it helped me better understand how women can get trapped in a situation like that. So I definitely learned a lot. I also love to see how Kim started to learn about Jesus and develop faith in Him. I was not raised by believers, so I could relate to that "newness" feeling about Jesus and learning that He LOVES me. Very powerful and life changing information. I enjoyed reading how her new faith helped her move forward in different ways.
I started the book one day and then had to put it down (thanks to being a mom of 3 boys, it is hard to find uninterrupted time to read). The characters stayed in my head and I was anxious to return to the book to find out what happened. I love reading a book that uplifts me and inspires me.
It was an enjoyable book and I hope that you will read Alison's newest book and that it will touch you in some way. I know it made me grateful for my childhood and also really helped put into perspective that the hard work I do as a Mom is SO important.