To Forgive, Divine
by Melissa Lea Leedom
reviewed by Rian Montgomery
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There is nothing quite like old-fashioned and pure romance, especially when it happens in a book that is well written featuring likeable and charismatic characters. To Forgive, Divine by Melissa Leedom is such a book with these qualities. Chock full of endearing characters and set in rural Texas, To Forgive, Divine is a Christian “Chick Lit” book that should not be missed.
Meet Bonnie, a widowed mother of two who is a dedicated Christian. She resides in Chandler City, GA, one of those small town type of places where you run into people you know every day, everywhere you go. In the beginning of our story, she has just begun to notice Jeff Wells, the pastor of Foster Road Baptist. Jeff is also widowed with a teenage son, and has just begun to notice Bonnie. The two of them however don’t have time for anything but one special kiss between them before it all comes crashing down. Clara Adkinson, the town gossip, can’t stand to see the two of them get together and starts spreading nasty rumors about them. And we all know how rumors can spread like wildfire in a small town! And unfortunately Clara manages to break the two of them up before anything really starts. Jeff believes Clara, and quickly cuts things off with Bonnie, who can’t believe she has already fallen for him and is crushed.
Meanwhile other things are falling apart as well – a young boy who recently joined a gang breaks into the church office; a woman who has left her cheating husband joins the church, and is suddenly spotted all around town with Jeff; Bonnie can’t stop running into men she wants little or nothing to do with, including a loud-mouthed, overbearing ex-flame (that she’d never gotten together with in the first place); Clara tries to have Pastor Jeff resign from the church because of false allegations; and Bonnie and Jeff can’t stop running into each other even when they try, and it’s the last thing they want! Will this town and congregation ever pull together? Will this group of people ever learn to forgive each other? Find out in this heartwarming story.
To Forgive, Divine was a wonderful book and I enjoyed it immensely. Bonnie, the main character, is a likeable woman with flaws that many can identify with. Her situation with Jeff as well as the other characters’ lives kept me riveted to the book to see how it would all end. I also loved how the book wasn’t sickly sweet and unrealistic. It showed the ins and outs of living a Christian life, even some of the bad things about it, such as hypocrisy and jealousy that sometimes takes place. Melissa Leedom manages to get the message of salvation through to her readers too in this delightful story.
Overall, I recommend To Forgive, Divine to all readers who love a romantic and down-to-earth story that will tug at your heartstrings. People with a Christian background will especially like it. Do you think that a true, simple and pure love doesn’t exist? Read this book – it may change your mind!