Composing Amelia
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Composing Amelia

3.67 of 5 stars 3.67  ·  rating details  ·  284 ratings  ·  52 reviews

Composing Amelia, is a journey through the introduction of mental illness into a young marriage and the resulting havoc that can be wreaked by the disease. A young Los Angeles marriage is put to the test and two careers are threatened when Amelia's husband Marcus is hired as a pastor at a remote Nebraska church. The move results in resentment and sparks the onset of mental

Paperback, 352 pages
Published September 1st 2011 by David C. Cook (first published 2011)
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May 09, 2013 Claire rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Born Again Christians
This booked tricked me. It was Christian fiction.

In theory I'm not opposed to Christian fiction. I'll read just about anything. I'll read science fiction even though I'm not an alien, I'll read fantasy even though I'm not a princess, so in theory I have no problems reading Christian fiction even if the characters are motivated by a power I don't understand.

I was able to get past the many instances of asking God for guidance and putting trust in God. That made sense for those characters, so I was...more
Amelia and Marcus are newly married, crazy in love and living in LA. Amelia has dreams of becoming a famous concert pianist and Marcus has dreams of becoming a pastor like his father. When opportunity comes at the same time for both of them, the decision mentally and physically tears them apart. Being so young in the marriage they make huge mistakes dealing with it and wind up separated as they try and work things out. Depression and anxiety spark a buried mental illness in Amelia, while doubt a...more
Jeni Enjaian
I contemplated rating this book with three stars. It almost got to that point.

When I first started reading this book (available via a kindle download from my library) I was caught by surprise that it was a Christian book. While I hate to admit it, I was disappointed that it was. Unfortunately many Christian authors feel that Christianity restricts their prose or dictates certain answers, certain character descriptions, certain plots.

Ms. Strobel fell into that trap often throughout this book. Her...more
Margo Berendsen
Actually, 4.5 stars, because I'm not sure I'd ever read it again (5 stars) but I definitely think everyone should read this book, especially if you are newly married or starry-eyed with ambition or if you've just discovered hidden dysfuntionality in your family or ESPECIALLY if you think there IS NO DYSFUNCTION in your family.

Quick summary: two people love each other very much and get married, but they are both pursuing very different dreams that end up tearing them apart. Throw into the mix di...more
Amelia and Marcus, recent college graduates and newlyweds, are seeking their "dream" jobs. Amelia has aspirations to become a well-known pianist and play professionally. Marcus is following in his father's footsteps and looking for a pastoral job in a large church. Trying desperately to stay afloat in pricey Los Angeles, they are each working numerous jobs. Then, Amelia finds her dream job just as Marcus accepts an interview for a lead pastor position in Nebraska. How can they both have their dr...more
May 07, 2012 Alicia rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2012
Another repeat author for me, I really enjoyed her previous novel Heart of Memory which was a nook freebie some time ago and I was really look forward to this novel.

Composing Amelia is the story of a young, broke married couple- Amelia and Marcus who begin the novel living check to check in a cramped L.A. apartment, working three jobs as they each focus on building their dream careers. For Marcus, this career is a as pastor and Amelia hopes to become a renowned pianist. Both have agreed to look...more
Jennifer Jensen
The ways in which we set ourselves up to be disappointed are endless. Sometimes we wade through a difficult patch and work ourselves into a fevered pitch to make things turn out better. Sometimes we hang our hats on our predetermined ideas of what comes next, certain that we know best. In the end, everything we encounter and go through is part of the plan God has for us, and as Christians our lives on earth are meant to give us opportunity to know him better, to grow closer to him as we prepare...more
Lydia Presley
Original review posted here

I.. get the feeling this book was supposed to be about mental illness. Instead, what I got was a story about an incredibly immature couple who make unrealistic choices over, and over again. This book paints Christianity, rather.. Christians, as being incredibly naive, and selfish. Then – story aside, the characters were annoyingly two-dimensional. There was nothing but fluff there – and don’t get me started on the musical references when it comes to Amelia.

All I have t...more
Rachel Brand
I was really looking forward to reading this book as it dealt with some issues that are very relevant to me right now - being newly married graduates, making tough decisions about jobs and money and starting a family, and mental health. Sadly university work interrupted my reading so much that it took me almost two weeks to read this book! I'm not sure if that stunted my enjoyment of it somewhat, but I found myself getting increasingly annoyed with Amelia towards the end of the novel, instead of...more
Kristin (Kritters Ramblings)
A book that goes to a depressing place quick and the reader is stuck there for most of the book. With mental illness, lost career goals and a move away from home, this book is chocked full of hard issues that are confronted head on.

Amelia is new to the Christian faith and married to Marcus who has his dreams wrapped around following in his father's footsteps to be a pastor of a church. They both come from backgrounds that didn't have the best role models to learn how adulthood should be. It made...more
Ane Mulligan
Alison Strobel keeps getting better and better. Composing Amelia is a novel I consider to be a lasting work of fiction. Within its pages, Strobel plumbs the depths of emotion in a subject fraught with prejudice and misinformation within the church. With characters your heart will embrace, it is a story of pride and depression without being depressive. From the first page until the last, I was caught up in Marcus and Amelia's world, unwilling to stop reading. A beautiful love story, you'll see Go...more
Rebecca Rodriguez
Thanks to Goodreads and Alison Strobel for the opportunity to read this book. I'm from NE, so my initial desire to read it came from that connection to the story. My mother suffered from mental health issues, so this was a tough read. Not only is mental illness difficult for those experiencing it, but it is just as difficult for their families. It is hard to watch a loved one hurt and not be able to fix what is hurting them. Thanks for a book that addresses this topic and gives others an insight...more
Composing Amelia: A Novel (click book or see below for description)
By Alison Strobel
Downloaded free on 5/26/14 (released in Sept 2011)

Rating: 3 bones

Finish Time: 4 nights. I have a queue of books, both hard copy and e-copy just waiting to be read, but again this time (3rd in a row) I found myself looking through Amazon (Free) Best Sellers for a different book. The last two (here and here) have not disappointed. Having just made a big life decision and having to trust God and my husband, I couldn...more
without spoiling it for future readers...
Alison writes of tough, real life issues, with candor and insight. helpfully directing our attention to realities we regularly bump up against. unwanted pregnancy, in-law struggles, choices between her career/his career, cross-country moves, friendships, depression...
well done, Alison, for your creatively realistic writing and for competently tackling the challenging situations of Composing Amelia ...
Pam Chaffin
This was a 3.5, so better than a 3. I like Alison Strobel. I love Christian Fiction. But.......I connected with the issues of the book; mental health, young faith, family issues, moving from big city to small town, unexpected pregnancy, etc. more than I did with the characters that were going through them. Overall though, still an enjoyable read. Just not one of my favorites by AS.
I had a bit of a difficult time enjoying parts of this story due to the character's depression. I kind of skimmed some of those parts because it is realistically written and I find depression to be rather depressing. I did think it was a well written interesting story and I liked the author's questions and explanations at the end.
Christine Lowe
Outstanding Book

Good writing must run in the Strobel family. Alison has surely made her father proud as she pens each new book. She has an amazing ability to delve into deep psychological issues that confront damaged people.

We all have expectations of our spouse when we get married. Unfortunately, many of our expectations are unrealistic. Many of us carry wounds that we are either unaware of or we desperately try to hide the damaged parts that we think make us unacceptable.

This is a highly engag...more
Wow! I almost stopped reading this book because it was getting too depressing for me. I am so glad I didn't because even though it doesn't end with everything being solved, it offered so much hope. I think this was precisely because it didn't end tidy. It was a real story that could happen in our own lives and I just loved it.
3.5 Stars

I am mixed on the review of this book. It was very slow starting off and way too long but the ending picked up and was wonderful. I guess I need to put it at 3.5 stars.

I would recommend this book to anyone wanting to read a Christian non-fiction book that isn't too involved.
Overall, this book was average. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't good either. I thought some parts drug on forever, but at the same time, I wanted to keep reading to find out what happens.

*I was provided this book through a Goodreads giveaway. All opinions expressed are my own.
Shelly Troup
I didn't care for Amelia for most of the book, I thought she was selfish,and immature, but by the end of the story I began to like her. She ends up going through some difficult times but in the end she has grown into a giving, mature adult. All in all I like the book.
This was very interesting in that it is a strongly "Christian fiction" story. That being said, I truly enjoyed the relationships and the emotions as the characters went through their individual and combined struggles. It felt very real and honest, which I really appreciated.
Carole  Robinson
I found the book informative regarding mental illness. I saw the grace that God allows in our lives to accept those we love, inspite of their illness and personalities. I can't say it was a FUN read, but I couldn't put it down. Especially the second half.
Alison Strobel is a Christian author that isn't afraid to delve into real, messy life. I loved this book and even got my toes stepped on a bit. A real picture of letting go and letting God.
This audiobook (unabridged) was great company on a long winter road trip. Kept me engaged (and awake) and interested. Really enjoyed it. Will have to check out Strobel's other titles.
What a phenomenal story! I can't think of a more accurate way to describe this incredible novel. The author touches on so many aspects of real life. Composing Amelia gives readers a glimpse into varying emotional landscapes. It shows effective and ineffective communication, uncovers scars from dysfunctional families, exposes discord due to different marriage goals, shows how guilt and suppressed pain often leads to out-of-control depression, outlines couples searching for a balance between their...more
Informative and interesting

This book related the emotional rollercoaster of bipolar disorder in one of the characters. As a new Christian , she struggled with her new faith and her new diagnosis of Bipolar. Her husband who is a young pastor also struggles with his motive of becoming a pastor just to win the approval of his father. These struggles reveal honest questions and emotions.
Composing Amelia is a play on words. Amelia is a pianist and a emotional wreak, that needs composing.

This book gives readers a glimpse into the emotional up's and downs of being bi-polar. It also shows these newlyweds life. Thier ineffective communication skills; thier scars they brought from dysfunctional families; thier needs versus dreams, thier fears and doubts. The sad low paying dead end jobs they are working till there dream jobs come along.

I was disappoinged that the author didn't delve...more
This is an amazing story. Alison captures the depth of emotion intensely. She doesn't tip toe around issues. She hits it square on. I greatly appreciate her candor and honesty. This isn't a fluffy Christian novel. It is real story with real questions and answers. It is a journey.

In Composing Amelia Alison tackles depression and the mind drama that goes with that and also the church's response to people who suffer with this disease. She also tackles how the church should we respond and how we, a...more
Agnes Fells
Both of the leading characters traveled through some very emotional times, attesting to the fact that marriage isn't easy. I would love to read the author alternate book based more on the bipolar aspect. An easy read I enjoyed it.
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Alison is a women's fiction novelist who writes books about life, love, and faith. Her sophomore release, "Violette Between," was a RITA Award finalist in 2007. She lives in Colorado with her husband (with whom she has co-authored two children's books) and their two daughters.
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