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The Undoing of Saint Silvanus

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  3,283 ratings  ·  521 reviews
Only God knew why Jillian Slater agreed to return to New Orleans on the news that her father had finally drunk himself to death. It's not like they were close. She hadn't seen him--or her grandmother, the ice queen--in almost 20 years. But when Adella Atwater, the manager of her grandmother's apartment house, called and said Jillian's expenses would be paid if she'd fly in ...more
Hardcover, 480 pages
Published September 20th 2016 by Tyndale House Publishers (first published September 2016)
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Robyn Was this language the kind you'd expect from the character who used it?

Keeping a story unrealistically "squeaky clean"can actually be both a false…more
Was this language the kind you'd expect from the character who used it?

Keeping a story unrealistically "squeaky clean"can actually be both a false presentation and undermine the book's very purpose - telling hard but healing truths. It's not always sweet and attractive, but strong medicine never is.

Whenever I consider some of the language Paul uses in his letters and some descriptions the prophets describe as how God sees his sinful people, I'm guessing Beth was probably being extremely restrained if none of her characters were allowed to speak more as they realistically might in reality.

The very label, "Christian," can be a liability in truth telling and evangelism. The word was coined by unbelievers to describe the crazy, truth telling bunch of radicals they considered Christ followers to be. It was not designed to catelog things as heartwarming and free of offensive content.

Once I realized not all books, movies and other artistic expression are purely for entertainment purposes, I was less inclined to criticize an artist or author for expressing the raw truth when necessary.

Perhaps your conscience still will not allow you to accept any words or imagery that are not strictly G Rated. However, once you consider that all such expression is not gratuitous, but that people like Beth know they risk rejection for what may be God's clear directive to them, and likely struggle mightily over it, you may decide they have done what was needful to achieve the mission God assigned to them.(less)
Tyndale Crazy4Fiction Thanks to reader Andrea Cox for her thoughtful response! As the publisher of this novel, we agree that there are some mature themes in The Undoing of…moreThanks to reader Andrea Cox for her thoughtful response! As the publisher of this novel, we agree that there are some mature themes in The Undoing of Saint Silvanus but most importantly, Beth portrays real life people, the messiness and imperfection and the beauty, and shows how God’s love and grace can shine through it all. We believe meaningful discussions can come out of this novel. Thanks for your interest in this book; if you’d like to go deeper with other free resources be sure to visit Thanks, Shaina #Crazy4Fiction team(less)

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Judie Britt
Sep 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016
Having done every Bible study Beth Moore has ever written, I knew I loved her nonfiction. I had no idea what to expect from a fiction novel. She has not disappointed.

The story is wrapped around a murder mystery plot, but goes so much deeper. Into relationships, family dynamics, introspection. At the same time serious and funny, dark and light, and above all inspirational.

I only have one question. Beth, when does the sequel come out?
Andrea Cox
Sep 30, 2016 rated it did not like it
By Andrea Renee Cox

I was so excited that Beth Moore was releasing her first novel, but it never occurred to me that it would feature such worldly things as tarot cards, an abortion, multiple pregnancies out of wedlock, and using the Lord's name in vain. That last one (at the very least) is inexcusable, especially coming from one of the leaders on the evangelical circuit today.

I was really hopeful about this story, but unfortunately I'm closing its cover with a large case of disappointment.

May 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: christian, mystery
Full review now posted!

Rating: 3.5 stars, rounded up.

I went into this novel with a bit of hesitation. I’ve read many of Beth Moore’s Bible studies and been touched and illuminated them over the years. This book is Beth’s first attempt at writing fiction. I’ve always loved her writing style, which is full of character and makes reading non-fiction more fun. But I can only imagine how difficult transitioning from writing Bible studies to writing fiction must be, and to keep yourself from sounding
Gail Welborn
Sep 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
***"Beth Moore's premier debut fiction has all the ingredients of a bestselling mystery!"***

Bestselling inspirational author, Beth Moore steps into the field of fiction September 20 with an exciting, character-based, mystery release that is sure to keep you up late. Beth Moore's "The Undoing of Saint Silvanus" includes a southern murder mystery, a mysterious church turned apartment house named “Saint Sans,’" an odd assortment of tenants and a complex family who struggle with faith and broken re
3.5 Stars

I'm not sure how to rate this book. It started really slow, really slow. But then I got into it and the pace picked up and pieces fell together. And then it resolved, with about a hundred pages left. And I slugged through those last 100 pages. It might have worked better as a dualogy, or it needed some trimming down. Overall, I enjoyed it. The characters had some great lines, but It was way too long.
Victoria Lynn
Dec 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorite-fiction
If you could compare a book to a work of art, this novel would be honored with the comparisons to such greats as the Mona Lisa and The Last Supper.

If I could rate this with more than five stars, I would give it ten. It was just so amazing! I didn't want to leave the pages and I wept when I realized that I had finished it.

Beth Moore nailed EVERY SINGLE CHARACTER. Adella, with her mischievous, talkative and hilarious nature. Olive who is cold, bitter and heartbroken. Jil
May 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2017
This debut novel by non-fiction writer Beth Moore was deep and dark.

Jillian Slater lives in San Francisco near her mom, who is more like a friend than a mom and with her boyfriend, who is more like a controller. She learned her estranged father is deceased and flies to New Orleans at the request of her grandmother.

Jillian's growth within the pages was incredibly realistic. The reader can easily see how Jillian lived a disconnected and superficial life in San Francisco and could struggle with the
Aug 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is an exceptional mystery you will not believe it. It is one of the mysteries that grab you by the throat straight from the first pages. You pick it up and you find that you haven't taken a breath until you realize hey you better breathe.. You pick this book because of the author you continue reading because it is fantastic. It is about Jillian whose father has died and she goes to New Orleans for the funeral where she finds out that he was murdered. She goes to his house which was a conver ...more
Sep 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The story line caught me from the first page. I couldn't put the book down until I had finished reading. I only received a sample from Netgalley, but I am definitely going to purchase the book and finish it. SOON! The grandmother Olivia is a very mysterious character. I am looking forward to finding out her past.
Full review to come.
Kate Campos
Aug 03, 2016 rated it it was ok
Beth Moore is a huge name in Christian non fiction, specifically to women's ministry, so there was immediate name recognition when I received this book for review. Her first fictional work was an ambitious endeavor (to say the least) but as a whole missed the mark of a novel worth recommending, in my opinion.

She still shines in her masterful skill in biblical story retellings and delivering nuggets of Christian living wisdom (i.e. "The pain of a hard goodbye is the heart's tribute to the privil
Feb 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Jillian Slater's life could best be described as fractured; practically homeless after fleeing an unhealthy relationship, she lands in New Orleans with her estranged grandmother, where her father's unsolved murder taints everyone and everything around her. Saint Sans, a beautiful former Methodist sanctuary, houses an eclectic group of tenants, ranging from a eccentric widow to a gregarious housekeeper; whose attempts at humor and conversation are constantly at odds with Jillian's carefully guard ...more
Oct 22, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyed the beginning, but it became predictable and the faith thread became to over powering at the end without much exposure in the beginning. I finished it but lost most my interest by half way through.
Oct 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
In her first work of fiction, Beth Moore proves that she is as skillful at telling a good story as she is at Biblical exegesis.
Teresa Merriman
Sep 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved it!!!! Couldn't put it down!!!
Robynne Cornell
Beth Moore is a great Bible teacher

Fiction....not so took about 75% of the book to kind of get into it but I've never not finished a book and kept trudging through
Oct 27, 2016 rated it liked it
I'm not really sure how the historical flashbacks tied into anything. I must have missed something. but the modern storyline was good.
Angie Schmidt
Apr 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
I liked this book a lot better than I thought I would, a solid 3.5 enjoyable stars. I was worried it would be preachy - it wasn't. I was worried every character would be a perfect upright uptight Christian - they weren't. In fact everyone in the book was a human, with flaws and struggles and highs and lows; the Christians and unbelievers. Not a perfect person in the bunch. I was worried anyone unsaved would have miraculous, instant 180 degree change conversions - they didn't. In fact, not every ...more
Katherine Jones
Oct 21, 2016 rated it liked it
First let me say, kudos to Tyndale House Publishers for doing such a lovely job publishing this novel. The cover art, the artwork on the inside pages — these are beautiful and inviting. I believe that reading a book isn’t solely about the writer’s words. It’s the experience of reading those words. (For this reason I’ll never prefer an e-book over a printed one.) The best books come as a complete package, so that the reader finds pleasure in the book’s feel, its heft and appearance. Yes, these th ...more
Debbi DuBose
Wow! Beth Moore can write A REALLY FANTASTIC NOVEL! ! This isn't a preachy novel for those of you that are scared away by that. This is about a 25 year old girl who leaves San Francisco to go to her Grandmother's boarding house. Olivia Fontaine's boarding house is called St Sans by the residents : elderly Mrs Winsee, Caryn a medical student, and David a chorale high school teacher. When Jillian arrives she finds that her Father, whom she hasn't seen since she was a young child, has been murdered ...more
Lynda Kotis
Oct 09, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Surprisingly Intriguing

I am a huge fan of Beth Moore! I've completed many of her Bible studies over the last too-many-years-to-tell; first as a participant and for the last few years as a leader. She is unknowingly one of the most influential mentors in my spiritual the moment I'm leading her study, Entrusted, and loving the challenging trip. She is exemplary in her ability as a non-fiction spiritual author.

That being said, I began the book with less than the great expectations of her
Kelley Rose
My review is based on an ARC sample from NetGalley. With sample ARCs, ratings end up being based on the first few chapters and that is not enough to give a true rating and review.

That being said, my librarian gut says that this little mystery will be a hit! Beth Moore has a Gift of weaving words together and her non-fiction, bestselling, books attest to that fact. Moore has now taken a leap of faith and ventured into the fiction world, and I don’t think readers will be disappointed.

The story imm
Jun 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was a great mystery as Jillian heads to New Orleans for her father's funeral. After she arrives the police tell her he was murdered and this news is unwelcome by her estranged grandmother and her grandmother's manager, Adella. Saint Silvanus is the apartment building her grandmother converted from an old church and the renters are an odd collection that Jillian gets to know as she stays for the police investigation. There are some strange happenings and someone is not happy Jillian is in Ne ...more
Paula Howard
Oct 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed The Undoing of Saint Silvanus. Jillian has had no contact with her father or his family. For as long as she could remember, it was just her and her mother.

Jillian receives notice that her father had died and that her Grandmother will pay expenses for her return. In part, because of the situation with her boyfriend, she decides to fly to New Orleans. After getting there she finds that her Grandmother had no idea she was coming. She plans to make her escape gets in h
Oct 07, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved that Beth wrote a fiction book and I enjoyed the story line but.... it was too long.

It was 11 hours and that is just too long to keep my interest.

I think it just had too many details.

Don't get me wrong I enjoyed the book but It needed to be about 3 hours shorter.

Jillian Slater finds herself down on her luck so she leaves SF and heads to Louisiana to get to know her family. Lots of great LA history and even some historical thrown in. Don't forget the mystery, and of course Beth doing
Sue Mattocks
Sep 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beth Moore has another hit!

This book was very enjoyable. I have participated in many Beth Moore bible studies and have enjoyed and learned from each one. This book was fast paced with interesting characters and a great plot. Not to preaching for non-believers but enough information to interest any who are looking for a relationship with Jesus. I hope Beth continues to write fiction!
Ginger Marshall
Dec 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I thought it was a great first novel. It transported me straight to New Orleans. I read it as part of a book club meeting and really enjoyed our discussions and what we saw as symbolism through out the book. We are messy and life is messy and how Jillian came to find her own walk is beautiful story in the midst of the mystery.
May 27, 2016 rated it liked it
Please note: I read this sample as a free e-ARC from Netgalley. I was interested in reading this as I've heard so much about Beth Moore and her bible based teachings. The chapters I read definitely peaked my interest to want to know more about Jillian and the dynamics of her dysfunctional family.
Apr 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A gripping novel. Beth Moore did an excellent job of putting a story to the principles she teaches! I loved the bold example of water baptism!
Oct 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Awesome book - a little different than what you would expect but a great read.
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Loved it! 1 1 Oct 20, 2017 12:20PM  
Beth Moore has written many best–selling books and is a dynamic teacher and a prolific Bible–study author whose public speaking engagements take her across the United States to challenge tens of thousands. Beth is focused on teaching women all over the world and is known and respected wherever she goes. She is a dedicated wife and mother of two adult daughters and lives in Houston, Texas, where sh ...more
“Sometimes all you could do for the suffering was to make sure they knew someone was suffering right there with them. Someone who had also felt stricken, and smitten, and afflicted.” 2 likes
“I’m about to enroll you in a class with Miss Manners. You’d qualify for a scholarship.” “I’ll” 0 likes
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