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Beauty from Ashes

(Orchard Grove #1)

4.39  ·  Rating details ·  62 ratings  ·  37 reviews
A baby was never part of Tiff's plans. Especially not a sick baby in a NICU, struggling for life on a ventilator.

As days in the hospital turn to weeks, Tiff grows more and more convinced that God is punishing her for turning her back on him so many years ago. Or is it possible he's working in the midst of her daughter's bleak prognosis to draw Tiff back to himself once
Kindle Edition, 396 pages
Published July 7th 2017 by Firstfruits Publishing
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Carrie Schmidt (Reading is My SuperPower)
Beauty From Ashes is an incredibly moving story about a young woman in a heartbreaking situation. It reads like a conversation between the main character Tiff and the reader, as she tells us about the events leading up to and including the past few months of her life. In her frank yet endearing manner, Tiff reflects on her years in foster care, her relationship with God, and how she wound up married with a baby in the NICU.

One thing I love about Terry’s writing is that she always surprises me.
Lydia Howe
Oooohhhh... Sadly, this book wasn't my cup of tea. Which really shouldn't be surprising since I have nothing in common with the main character. (Mainly, I'm not married and I don't have a child struggling to stay alive. Nor did I grow up in the rough childhood that the main character grew up in.) I generally like Miss Alana's writing so much that I thought this book would still be a hit with me.

Miss Alana's writing was amazing as normal, but I just really didn't like this book. (Sorry!) It was
Carole Jarvis
Dec 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Reviewed at The Power of Words:

"There’s a lightness in my spirit now. I don’t dread each minute of each day. I’m looking forward to what’s to come with new expectations. New eyes. New hope....It might not be a huge change, in your opinion, but it’s a start."

Beauty from Ashes … the title says it all. This is an incredible book – and I’m not sure I have the words to express why, so I’ll just share some random thoughts. The story transported me into another world and made me
Nov 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Beauty From Ashes by Alana Terry is a heartfelt contemporary Christian novel that just tore my heart and emotions to pieces.
Written in the first person, the reader's emotions go through the mill as we pop ourselves right in the middle of the story.
How would I feel if my baby daughter was continually fighting for life? Would I blame me? Would I blame God? Would I bargain with Him? Would I grasp at anything and everything? Beauty From Ashes is a raw account of a new Mum's battle with her emotions.
Before we dive into all the reasons I’m in love with this book and perhaps this author there’s a few things I feel it is imperative to share with you. Tiff (the main character) is a Christian, sorta. As a child of the foster system she was blessed to have spent time in a loving Christian foster home that she aged out of. While she’s got the background she doesn’t have the faith commitment nor the faith lifestyle. There are some references in this book that may be offensive to some. Life happens ...more
Oct 30, 2017 rated it it was ok
I have read a number of novels by Terry that I have enjoyed a great deal. I did not enjoy this novel. I was not surprised to find out it was a revamp of her first novel she wrote but never published. Knowing that, as well as finding out that she began this novel after her son had a birth event similar to the one in this novel, made me want to be gracious in my review.

This novel is in the first person and is mostly the thoughts of a young and very troubled mother and wife. Tiff's daughter had a
Nov 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Tiff's life is the epitome of stress. A new marriage. Difficult in-laws. A move to a new place. And most importantly, a newborn baby struggling so hard to breathe she has to be on a ventilator. Where is God in this mess? Did He reject Tess because of her past mistakes and all of this is part of his punishment?

Beauty from Ashes is a touching novel about real life problems. Tiff has a lot of problems, and as stated, she is questioning everything. The stress and pain of her situation is enough for
Dec 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
When I began reading this story, I was not sure what I was really getting myself into. This story could have gone a few ways: really depressing or uplifting. My verdict- this story strongly goes into the uplifting category. The author pulled me into Tiffany’s world and her thought process as we view what is going on in this season of her life, the fears she has for her daughter, the relationship she has with her husband, her mother-in-law, her foster mother, even the doctors and nurses. ...more
Jennifer  J.
Nov 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Beauty from Ashes is a dramatic and engrossing first person narrative that draws you in and holds you so naturally, you won’t realize hours have passed and the story has totally wound around your heart and mind.

Described as “real life characters facing real life struggles,” this particular novel is challenging, and at times painful to read, but is straight-forward and extraordinarily well-written with a genuine depth of understanding of the characters and their humanity.

An earnest five stars
Sep 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wow. Just, wow. What an amazing, achingly honest novel! Alana Terry has penned a story that rings with the authenticity of a young mom who has endured the unthinkable with her newborn. I have read several of Ms. Terry’s novels, none of which prepared me for the depths of emotion plumbed in this one. It is an impressive work! Spoiler alert – read with tissues nearby!

Tiff, abandoned as an infant, grew up in foster care. She learned early that she can’t rely on anyone. She has only been able to
Deana Dick
Aug 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I didn't think it was possible that the author could write any better than she already does. Folks I'm here to tell you that this book has all the makings of a movie. It's not just about a baby that is very ill, but of a mother that carries guilt and shame. Tiffany is the type of character many can relate to. How many of us have done something we regret? Do we forgive ourselves or live in condemnation? I loved this character so much, I felt like I was in the hospital room with her. The author ...more
Aug 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
“Beauty from Ashes,” written by Alana Terry, is a thought provoking contemporary novel. This 381 page book kept my attention. I desperately wanted to keep reading because I needed to find out what was going to happen. The details of hospital visits, DNR paperwork, and medical terminology were all so real, and the feelings of fear, mixed emotions, and not always understand the team of doctors was heartbreaking.
This story is told by Tiff, a young woman who was raised in the foster care system, is
Beckie Burnham
Jan 25, 2018 rated it liked it
Beauty from Ashes is standalone women’s fiction from Alana Terry. Terry never shies away from focusing on difficult issues. She has a series that is set in North Korea that exposes the desperate plight of the people, especially Christians. Told in the first person voice of a young mother, this novel looks at the depression, anxiety, and guilt involved in the care of a seriously ill child.

Tiffany “Tiff” Franklin is a self-described foster-brat. Shuffled around the system, her childhood was less
Nora St Laurent
Aug 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Newly married young couple, Tiffany and Jake are struggling to wrap their minds around their very sick child’s condition. They are dazed at their predicament and perplexed by all the medical information they have to absorb in order to care for their baby if she lives that long.

The story is written from Tiffany’s point of view and shows how she emotionally navigates the situation as she deals with fiery darts of regrets from the past. She was abandoned by her mother and became a product of the
Nov 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
I have read multiple book written by Alana, and have pretty much enjoyed all of them; The Beloved Daughter series probably being my favorite. Alana has a unique style of writing, all her own. Many times her book ends with more questions than answers, as she provides mostly food for thought, instead of all out solutions to life's struggles and differences.

This book is really no different. It is written in first person, which is not really my favorite reading style. The main character Tiff is the
Nov 13, 2017 rated it liked it
I love the cover of this book and I liked the story. I thought that I would really love the story. I am struggling to do this review, but I am not completely sure why I didn't relate to the story as well as I thought I would. I found Tiff and Jake's character quite immature; but of course, they were immature. Tiff had lived a life of being moved from foster home to foster home and had many bad experiences. Jake had a domineering, controlling mother, so neither character had much in the way of ...more
Tina at Mommynificent
Nov 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Let me start by saying that Alana Terry is an amazing writer. Her first person prose in this novel is exceptional, and never once did I feel she stepped out of character or showed too much omniscience. She did an amazing job of limiting herself to Tiff's perspective, and her way with words made reading this book a delight.... even though the book itself was pretty depressing.

And that leads me to what I didn't really enjoy about this book. It was almost all "ashes"! I kept waiting and waiting for
Oct 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
I have started this review many times.
I want to do this book justice.
I do want to say that this book is very emotional and will have you crying.
There are several things in the book that I can relate to.
First, the mother in law. Considering I have one almost like her. Nothing I do isn't good enough not even me for her son. Bot even how I dressed my son when he was little. She changed his outfit Everytime we went over there cause she didn't like what I put on him!
Now, that my son is older, I
Jessica Baker (A Baker's Perspective)

Wow. This story was really moving and powerful. The entire time I kept picturing myself in Tiffany's shoes and found myself moved to tears. Words cannot express how much it touched my heart. The author found a way to make it sound almost like a memoir, kept the emotions real and raw, and allowed the character to enter my heart almost immediately. In fact, I had to keep reminding myself that this was just a story!

I do have to point out that while I did not like Patricia, at all, she did bring an
Anne Rightler
May 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Beauty from Ashes by Alana Terry is a heartbreaking story of a young couple with a desperately ill newborn. Told in the first person POV of Tiff, a self-proclaimed 'nothing special' 'foster-brat' the story is so realistic, I had to check to see if it was a true story. It is based on the author's experience of dealing with a baby in the NICU. According to my experience as an RN, the medical and nursing care and information presented throughout the story seem to be accurate. Tiff, with secrets ...more
Nov 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a heart-wrenching story. A real “pull-on-your-gut-real”, nitty-gritty story. It feels like an auto-biography as you read. Tiff is telling her story. And it’s not pretty. (She’s definitely not a role-model type of character!)

Her sweet little daughter Natalie, only 4 months old, is struggling to live. Tiff wasn’t ready to be a mom, much less a wife. She grew up in foster care, never had a loving family of her own, (except for her foster mom Sandy) how can she begin to know how to do this?

Crystal Scott
Nov 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
We all have faced struggles, trials and tribulations in our lives. Some of us have see the hand of God at work through those events and others have often wondered why God is punishing them. In Beauty from Ashes by Alana Terry, we have the story of Tiff who is going through a trial. Tiff's daughter is in the NICU, struggling for her life. After spending weeks in the hospital, Tiff honestly believes that God is punishing her for turning her back on Him so many years ago. Maybe there is another ...more
Nov 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
"Beauty from Ashes" by Alana Terry is a book that has a good message and I liked the story but I have to say it wasn't my favorite. Yes, I will read the next book in the series. My main objection to this book is that a couple of times a few words were used that I don't like to see in a Christian novel. The book talks about premarital sex but I would still say the book is a clean read.

I could really feel Tiff's pain as she was telling her story, yes this story isn't a feel good story and it does
Janice Sisemore
Nov 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017-books
Beauty from Ashes

When I first started reading I kept trying to figure it out, I guess because of being in first person and they were at a church service and the character is thinking and telling about her life. After several chapters the church service was over, the book started making sense to me because of more dialogue. Tiffany is newly married and just had Natalie a few months earlier that has a lot of health problems. Tiffany is dealing with her past with growing up a foster child. Also
Diane Higgins
Sep 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
“Beauty from Ashes” by Alana Terry was a fantastic read! This was a different type of genre than what I’ve read from Alana, but this book was just as good as all her others. I couldn’t put this one down. I felt like I was actually in the story!

This is part of the Orchard Grove Christian Women’s Fiction Novel. This book follows Tiffany and Jake and their newborn baby, Natalie. Natalie is in critical condition in NICU. Tiffany and Jake are a young couple struggling to make sense of what is going
Carol Keen
Nov 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
The main character's plight was all too real to me. A baby in critical care, and a wife, in a lot of duress. Tif had a hard time, no silver spoons for her. The more you read, the more you learn about her past, and her life, and how she is now in the current predicament she is in. While I haven't gone through what Tiff did in this book, I still felt deeply for her in some places. This book covers many things, on several levels. Pain, suffering, forgiveness, blaming God, blaming yourself, and the ...more
Andrea Byers
Apr 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Tiffany has a lot of stress in her life. Mother in law that moved in 2 months ago and took over everything. A new husband she has no time or much of a relationship with. A daughter who is almost 4 months old who is very sick and has to be constantly monitored and suctioned. I had a hard time connecting with Tiffany with her bad attitude through most of the book, but stuck with it to find out what happened with Natalie. Good story that portrays the wild emotional rollercoaster of what I can ...more
Karen Hadley
Nov 26, 2017 rated it liked it
A heart-searching story. Life is tough and life is hard at times. Sometimes the hard last a life time. In "Beauty from Ashes" is gut level honesty shared from a mom who struggle with a special-needs baby. Her feelings she shares through her thoughts are her real feelings, struggles and outreach of how to make it through one day at a time. She learns to not give up on her daughter just as God never gives up on us.
Rating: 3.5* I received a copy of this book as a gift and all
Jul 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Tiffany and Natalie's story is truly remarkable. Tiffany and Jake are struggling taking care of a sick baby. The things they go through on a daily basis is unbelievable. The author will have you on the edge of your seat waiting to see what happens next. God is working throughout this whole story. I had the honor to review this book for the author for a honest review. The reaction to this book is my honest thoughts and reaction.
Diane Perry
Jul 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing

I'm going to be honest. At first I did not like Tiff. She was so hard and uncaring. As someone who has a special needs child in the family, I felt she should be more compassionate. I quickly learned I was wrong about her. Once you read her story, you understand and I became a huge cheerleader for her and her baby. This is brilliantly written. Beautiful and touching. Have your tissues and enjoy a great book!
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When Alana isn't writing, it's likely that she's on the floor wrestling with her kids. Or playing outside with her kids. Or chauffeuring her kids. Or trying some random science experiment with her kids. But she's probably not cooking or cleaning.

Alana is a homeschooling mother of three who loves to write, hates to cook, and enjoys reading a good book almost as much as she enjoys writing one.


Other books in the series

Orchard Grove (3 books)
  • Before the Dawn (Orchard Grove #2)
  • Breath of Heaven (Orchard Grove #3)