ISBN: 9780981608730
Publisher: The Story Plant
Published: July 2009
150 pgs

I have not read a good inspirational novel for a while, so when I was offered the opportunity to review Song of Renewal by Emily Sue Harvey, I grabbed it.

Song of Renewal centered around the Wakefields' family, whose all members seem to have everything. Garrison, the head of the family is a hugely successful graphic artist and his wife, Liza is an active member of the community and a patron of the arts. Their 16-year-old daughter, Angel, is beautiful and a gifted dancer. Before this, Garrison and Liza used to have their dreams - to be an accomplished painter and a ballet dancer but they traded their dreams away, thinking that things and their current lifewould be enough to hold a family together. Plus, they have high hopes for Angel and Liza has hoped that Angel would fulfill her dream to become a ballet dancer.

Unfortunately, all things seem to come to a halt when Angel has met in a car accident. Her boyfriend, Troy, was killed instantly and Angel's injuries are beyond critical. While she lies in a coma from which even the best prognosis is devastating, the relationship between Garrison and Liza became strained. While Liza blamed herself in a way for letting Angel and Troy left for a concert on a rainy night, she is also hoping that she would lent some support from Garrison but his anger and resentment got into the way.

But seeing the critical stage Angel is facing and their heartache over her builds, Garrison and Liza began to question themselves and at the same time, struggle to rediscover who they once were and who they were meant to be. They discover that besides praying for Angel, the other only way they could do for her is to focus all their strength and love to help heal Angel, meanwhile also refocusing their relationship and bringing back the faith and to forgive each other.

Song of Renewal is a great inspirational story without being preachy. Reading this story has made me appreciate my life and my family more than ever. Each family has its story, and no matter how good or bad life is, it always takes trust, faith and love in building and making the bonds stronger, and of course, not forgetting forgiveness and commitment.

I also liked how the story is nicely wrapped up in the end. After all, one must not loses hope and through the miracles and the power of love, one would expect his ray of rainbow after every storm. Don't you think so?

I want to thank Joan Schulhafer and Joy Strazza for sending this book to me for review!

The author, Emily Sue Harvey says that grief and therapy catapulted her into writing. She has written numerous essays for Chicken Soup for the Soul and the Chocolate for Women series and Song of Renewal is her first novel. Much of her work grows from reflections on everyday events - life changing and ordinary. Determined to make a difference in people's lives through her writing, she imbues her work with moments from her own life - the good and the bad. The result, she hopes, are stories and messages that stress joy and the promise of triumph as they draw people out and share the struggle of moving forward.

Click here to read more about Emily Sue Harvey and other renewal stories.
13 Responses
  1. Sandy Nawrot Says:

    I love stories like trauma that allows growth and discovery. I will keep my eye open for it! (BTW, I am back home and ready to roll!)

  2. Alice Says:

    Such a meaningful read. Have a good weekend, Melody!

  3. Beth F Says:

    Sounds great -- but I actually don't like inspirational reads, so I don't think I'll be reading it. Great review, though! ;-)

  4. What a beautiful review, Melody! I don't have to have my stories wrapped neatly all the time, but in a case like this I do agree that hope is a perfect way to end a stormy story. I'll keep my eye open for this one--and such a beautiful cover!

  5. Ceri Says:

    This sounds like a wonderful story. My family have been feuding for years but, a year ago, when someone was hit by a car and slipped into a coma for weeks, the whole family gathered around to support each other. I'd definitely like to have a read of this.

    A wonderful review, Melody :-)

  6. Darlene Says:

    I will come back to your review after I read this one but I did read that you liked it and why. Now I'm really looking forward to it.

  7. Iliana Says:

    Another great review Melody! I think it's tricky sometimes with inspirational books to come across as too cloying or preachy but it sounds like this one really succeeds in being authentic!

  8. Julia Says:

    Great review, Melody! Sound like it story that hold lot of good meaning :)

  9. The Bookworm Says:

    What a beautiful book cover! Great review. It does sound like a good, inspirational read.

  10. I enjoy an inspirational story now and then too, Melody. This sounds like a good one.

  11. Melody Says:

    Sandy - Welcome back!! I'm looking forward to reading your posts on your Poland trip! Hopefully you'll post lots of lovely pics too! :D

    Alice - I hope you had a wonderful weekend, Alice!

    Beth - Thanks! I rarely read inspirational but I just couldn't pass this one up!

    Trish - Thank you, Trish!!

    Lady Lazarus - Thanks! I look forward to your thoughts if you've read this book.

    Dar - That's great! I'll look out for your review on this book. :)

    Iliana - I agree! :)

    Julia - It is, Julia! :)

    Naida - I love the cover too!

    Wendy - Reading a good inspirational story is a great motivation in my opinion, and this book is no exceptional. :)

  12. Anonymous Says:

    I don't read a lot of Inspirational non-fiction, but somehow I love Inspirational fiction. This book sounds good Melody. And by the way I just love the cover.

    And yes, I don't mind if the story is not neatly tied at the end but I love it if it is :)

  13. Melody Says:

    Violet - I rarely read inspirational novels, but I just couldn't pass one up when it's good and meaningful.

    The cover is beautiful, isn't it? I fell in love with it the moment I saw it.

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