Thursday, June 17, 2021

Review: Revival Season by Monica West

Revival Season
by Monica West 

Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Pages: 304
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Every summer, fifteen-year-old Miriam Horton and her family pack themselves tight in their old minivan and travel through small southern towns for revival season: the time when Miriam’s father—one of the South’s most famous preachers—holds massive healing services for people desperate to be cured of ailments and disease. This summer, the revival season doesn’t go as planned, and after one service in which Reverend Horton’s healing powers are tested like never before, Miriam witnesses a shocking act of violence that shakes her belief in her father—and in her faith.

When the Hortons return home, Miriam’s confusion only grows as she discovers she might have the power to heal—even though her father and the church have always made it clear that such power is denied to women. Over the course of the next year, Miriam must decide between her faith, her family, and her newfound power that might be able to save others, but, if discovered by her father, could destroy Miriam.

Kritters Thoughts:  A book that is an acquired taste with strong religious themes and if you don't already have an interest in the politics that happened behind the scenes in any denomination, then this book may miss the mark for you.  Miriam is a young woman who has traveled with her parents and her two siblings each summer as her dad is a revival pastor who is also a healer.  He travels with the family by car each summer in hopes of converting new believers and healing those who need it.  When one summer something goes wrong, it impacts both his summer revival plans and his home church in big ways.  

Part of the reason that this book kept my attention was my personal interest in religion and the sociology behind a group of people following the same set of rules for their life.  And at the same time that I was reading this book there were quite a few things going on with the Southern Baptist Convention and I was following that which made this book even more interesting as at the convention they were debating the ability for women to play leadership roles in the church.  And reading Miriam's father and his thoughts on women not having the ability to heal just really struck a chord with me.  My senior thesis in religious studies was about the role women play in church leadership (some odd years ago!) and its crazy to see in this book and in the current news that this a topic still up for debate.  

There were a few times where I felt as though I wasn't reading as closely and got a bit confused by details of the plot, but in the end, I think I got the moral of the story and really wonder what happened to these characters beyond the final page.  

Rating: definitely a good read, but can't read two in a row

Ebook 2021 Challenge: 73 out of 100

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Simon and Schuster.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

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