cover image Barefoot: A Story of Surrendering to God

Barefoot: A Story of Surrendering to God

Sharon Garlough Brown. InterVarsity, $18 trade paper (352p) ISBN 978-0-8308-4321-3

The four members of the Sensible Shoes Club seem to have made little progress on their spiritual journeys when they reunite in this captivating third book of the series (following Two Steps Forward). Estranged from her only child, Meg struggles with anxiety, fear, and the condemnation she received from her now-deceased mother, which still affects her confidence. Mara's bitterness and anger toward her ex-husband result in self-inflicted chaos and turmoil. Hannah, a pastor on a nine-month sabbatical, remains saddled with guilt from an imperfect childhood. When she reunites with an old love, Hannah finds the church hierarchs who gifted her leave of absence is a gossipy lot, quick to question her motives and morality. Charissa shows astounding compassion to the homeless at a local shelter and to Mara when Mara's actions backfire on her after bemoaning her generous in-laws and showing scant empathy for a gravely ill friend. Brown does not sugarcoat the trials of living in an imperfect world. Her flawed characters will come across to fans of inspirational fiction as honest and accurate. Readers may find this challenging should the faults and failures of these women hit too close to home, but the difficulty is worth the solace that comes with working through tough problems. (Nov.)