Thursday, September 3, 2009

Transformation, by Terri Kraus

David C Cook blurb:

“What happens when the normal Christian life you expected doesn’t turn out exactly that way? Can a good, hard-working Christian man disregard his cultural and religious admonitions—as well as his mother’s plans for his life—for the love of a woman and a historic church building? For anyone who has ever faced a dilemma of the heart—or for the avid HGTV watcher—author Terri Kraus tackles these questions with The Transformation (David C Cook, September 2009), the latest installment in her Project Restoration series dedicated to remodelers, rehabbers, and DIYers.

Oliver Barnett is a good contractor, a good Christian, and an obedient son, never in trouble, never one to rock the boat…until real estate developer Samantha Cohen enters his life. Samantha, full of life, vitality, and wit, is unlike any woman he has ever known—in more ways than one. Not only is she planning to transform a historic church into a restaurant/nightclub, she is Jewish and has had a “modern moral past,” having none of the restrictions that Oliver has had placed upon his own behaviors. While Oliver needs the work, he struggles with the idea of being involved in such a building project.

At the same time, an old girlfriend, Paula, rekindles a long-ago relationship with him—with the enthusiastic encouragement of Oliver’s domineering mother. Paula would be the safe choice, and the choice that would appease Mom, yet Oliver is drawn to Samantha because of her beauty and her exotic nature. Oliver finds himself in a most unsettling dilemma. Does he do what’s right by the nice girl his mother has chosen for him, or does he do what his heart is telling him to do?

“Can a ‘good, Christian boy’ find happiness with a woman from another faith?”asks Kraus. “Can Samantha find salvation through Oliver’s witness? And can a church ever be anything other than a place of worship? These are the intriguing questions I pose in The Transformation and I hope readers will enjoy discovering the answers”

My review:
I thought this book, Transformation, by Terri Kraus sounded really good. The idea of the story, a building being transformed as the backdrop of a person being transformed, made a very good plot.

I liked the main character, Oliver, and could appreciate his struggles and determination to do right. The message came through loud and clear that no matter what your past, God can forgive and redeem.

I did have a couple of problems with the book. The main character, though a Christian, drank alcoholic beverages, and even went to a bar. I know a lot of Christians are ok with that, and I have heard the arguments, but there are also a lot of Christians who do not drink, and believe it is wrong. I feel it is something a Christian author should avoid in their books. It is a big turn off for me when I run into it in a book, and I am sure there are others who feel the same way.

Oliver had two women throwing themselves at him, both trying to seduce him. I know it was a fiction book, but a real Christian man should have walked away from both women under the circumstances, so I think that gives a wrong message about dating relationships.

Overall, the book was a good read, and if alcohol-consuming Christians don’t bother you, then you will most likely enjoy this author. She can write a good story.


sealover said...

That's real life. Most characters in Christian fiction come off phony, because they never seem to struggle like the rest of us.

Kim M. said...


THANK YOU for giving an HONEST & courteous review!

I don't know about the characters in this book, but one of my favorite stories in the Bible is about Joseph who fled in the face of temptation. He did what was right even though it landed him in prison.

I personally love a story where the characters "do what's right, come what may". Yes he struggled, but refused to compromise!

Good review!