When I had the opportunity to read Jaded by Varina Denman and review it on my blog, I was very excited at the prospect. I love helping new authors, but I was also very interested in reading the book. It deals with a sensitive subject matter, especially for those who write for the Christian market. The concept of us against the church. I was anxious to see how Varina handled the situations and the lessons learned.
Ruthie can remember exactly when she and her mother stopped going to church, but she didn’t know what happened. The circumstances surrounding their break with the church are eventually revealed along with secrets that have been kept for many, many years.
The first thing that stands out in this novel is the author’s understanding of small town life. All of the relationships, the intertwining lives, secrets kept and held, gossip, and general slow-paced bustle that can only happen in tiny rural towns.
I enjoyed the characters, how they dealt with one another, the histories they shared and how they coped with it each and every day. That’s not to say that all of the characters are lovable. But isn’t that the way of life?
All in all, the book was an easy read. I found the pages flying by as the story of Ruthie, her mother and father, and all that happened all those years ago was revealed.
Yet Jaded is more than that. It’s the tale of the new preacher coming to town, a little unsure of his talents and a lot unsure of how he fits into the church/town dynamic. It’s the tale of a convicted felon, recently released from prison, coming back for a second chance. But more than anything, it’s about understanding and trust.
With such well-defined and well-developed characters and a touching tale of love, forgiveness, and second chances, Jaded is a story for everyone. I loved every word.
Here’s a little bit about Jaded and Varina Denman.
As a child, Ruthie was shunned by the local congregation. Thirteen years later, Ruthie’s heart begins to stir when an attractive single preacher arrives. But their relationship is bitterly opposed—unearthing a string of secrets which threaten to turn the church, the town, and her world upside-down.
Jaded is the rare novel that is both love story between a woman and man … and God and His church. Plunging deep into the waters of shame, forgiveness and restoration, it will resonate with every woman who’s experienced a loss of heart … and a thirst for hope.
Varina Denman writes stories about the unique struggles women face. She teaches creative writing and literature, volunteers in her local cooperative, and is a home educator to her five children. She resides with her family in North Texas. This is her first novel.