JOY STORIES by Ann Marie Turner

JOY STORIES

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A quiet book of personal reflections on the joys of Christianity.

For Turner, no religious issue, be it finding God, casting out the devil, avoiding hell or plotting a path to heaven, is too big for a daily rumination. In her debut, “joy jots” and scriptural quotes bracket short vignettes about embracing joy and Christianity. Each segment contains a story and a lesson related to a biblical teaching, with episodes featuring puppies going through difficult times and the simple pleasure of a cleansing breath in a quiet house. More serious topics include the devastating loss of a child as seen through the eyes of a faithful Christian and finding joy in the knowledge that the child waits in heaven along with a grateful heart for the time it spent here on Earth. Perhaps the most poignant story dwells on a reflection concerning Jesus Christ’s sacrifice brought about by Turner seeing a curbside “free” sign. Although the author aims to reach a broad audience, the stories remain specifically Christian. One of the strangest topics begins by asking, “[W]hy do bad things happen to good people?” Rather than addressing the question, the author suggests that only sinners need dwell on such a puzzle; in an illogical twist, the counterquestion, “why do good things happen to bad people,” is presented as an odd reverse question. Although counterintuitive, such a question segues into further topics concerning evil in the world, which the author tackles with a surprisingly whimsical attitude. Throughout the book, infectious, genuine joy and abundant faith leap from the pages. In particular, readers who drink coffee at coffee shops will enjoy the segment about thwarting evil.

Devout Christians will relish these journallike passages of religious fervor coupled with relevant biblical passages and snippets of joyful mantras.

Pub Date: Feb. 19th, 2014
ISBN: 978-1490825045
Page count: 120pp
Publisher: Westbow Press
Program: Kirkus Indie
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