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An Unpresentable Glory

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  62 ratings  ·  53 reviews
“I trusted you, and some day, you may know just how much you hold in your hands.”

Linda Jensen leads a relatively quiet life in Westchester County, New York, as the owner of a highly-acclaimed garden. Inherited from her parents, the garden is her pride and joy. What is not so joyful is finding a strange man sprawled near her delphiniums! The mysterious man is sick, unable t
Paperback, 367 pages
Published July 1st 2018 by Ambassador International
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Average rating 4.05  · 
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Mar 25, 2019 rated it did not like it
DNF @ 23%. This review has very, very minor spoilers, I promise.

I'm sorry, but I just... thoroughly did not enjoy the first part of this book, hence the DNFing. The very beginning was alright and made for a great hook--I started off reading this book thinking that I would enjoy it because it drew me in so well. However, things got progressively worse for a couple of reasons, so I finally decided to shut it and turn to another book.

There were mainly a lot of content issues, but the writing style
Jul 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
First off, this book gave me a greater appreciation for those who handle political slander well. Jay and Linda were almost always under attack for one reason or another, and yet through it all they stood strong and leaned on God.

One of the big themes that was threaded throughout the novel was that God moves in ways we don't expect. All the problems Jay and Linda face end up coming together for good, even if it's the result of many hardships. Another theme is how love manifests in different ways
Daphne Self
An Unpresentable Glory is a literary novel full of beautiful prose.
The detailed scenes gave color and depth to the imagination as it is read. The faith and emotions portrayed the ups and downs and mimicked real life. Eleanor Gustafson was able to touch base on a number of social issues without inserting her own political leanings. Instead she gave an unbiased look into the political scene and how tragedy can become a catalyst for numerous scandals and lies, but also a path to truth and honesty.
Clarice James
Aug 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I cannot imagine anyone touting Eleanor Gustafson’s novel, An Unpresentable Glory, as a “light beach read” or a “sweet plot for a made-for-tv movie.” No, this provocative story is more apt to promote serious discussion, even disagreements, not to mention late nights thinking over what you’ve just read. Gustafson isn’t soft on her characters or her readers, not allowing either to sit in the same pew, singing the same songs. Often, at the end of a novel, an author will add “Discussion Questions.” ...more
I listened to the audio version and it is very well done. The story line is different from what I’m used to and I had a hard time staying interested.
Jul 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
In An Unpresentable Glory characters grapple with contemporary challenges, besetting sins, tragedy, grief, and longing. God meets them at every turn. His persistent, redemptive love permeates every page and transforms every life. Eleanor Gustafson’s story is both timely and timeless.
Sep 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Eleanor Gustafson is a new author for me, but she is not new to her fans.
I enjoyed Unpresentable Glory very much and look forward to reading more by this author. As a matter of fact, I’ve already checked to see what else she has written.

Have you ever heard of, or maybe even participated in, a garden tour? Garden tours are special tours of certain gardens in a specific neighborhood or town. Due to the expense of maintaining a garden people would want to tour, many of these types of tours are at
Janice Garey
Jun 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Review Title: Seeking the Weedless Garden of Love (review of An Unpresentable Glory by Eleanor K. Gustafson)
Reviewer: Janice S. Garey
**** 4 Stars
This book holds an engaging love story, many realistic characters with faults, plenty of tension and conflict for good pacing, and a variety of issues filtered through a Christian lens. The title gives the theme running throughout the book, An Unpresentable Glory, which makes the point that people can do what is right in God's sight and it can still be
Mar 23, 2019 rated it liked it
This is the most interesting novel I have read for a while. I liked learning about the complex structure and design of a show garden. I liked learning about Native Americans and the issues they face today. I liked reading about how an investigative reporter can nearly ruin a politician's career.

Gustafson incorporated many Christian lessons in this novel, such as how a male support and discipleship group may work. There was also a strong example of the damage that can be done when Christianity is
Mar 22, 2019 rated it liked it
An Unpresentable Glory is not your typical Christian fiction romance read. This was a book I was able to lay aside but finally finished it. The story could easily be replaced as news in the political arena with hidden secrets, scandals, untruths along with every day events that society is dealing with currently. The heroine, Linda Jensen, garden would be a wonderful place to sit quietly and renew the inner man but yet she took in an ill man without questioning him for more information, which see ...more
Suzie Waltner
Sep 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
While categorized (at least in part) as a romance, An Unpresentable Glory has its own cadence. The main characters see each other only twice, and briefly at that, in the three years after they meet.
But that separation allows seeds of faith to take root, be watered and nurtured, and grow into something beautiful—most notably in Jay’s life.

Eleanor K Gustafson touches on many difficult topics—loss, loneliness, depression, and mental illness—yet readers are also reminded of the importance and result
Virginia Winfield
Apr 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is definitely a different kind of romance. Both Linda and Lawrie learn to put their lives in Gods hands. Both of these characters go through many trials and tribulations before and after they meet. I cried many times while reading this book. I received a copy of this book from Celebratelit for a fair and honest opinion that I gave of my own free will.
Nora St Laurent
Dec 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
I was intrigued from the start …”Her immediate problem lay face-down between her perennial border and clematis arbor – more specifically, a man who looked to be either dead or unconscious.”.

Her first instinct is to call 911 but the man pleads with her not to. She helps him into her home.The story could have gone lots of ways from there. Personally, I don’t know if I would have done that, but Linda (a single woman) thought she could take him down because he was so sick. She looked in his eyes an
Aug 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I found An Unpresentable Glory to be one of the most captivating books I’ve read in a while. So many twists and turns are woven into this story of redemption and grace. Just when you think you’ve got the storyline figured out, a surprise shows up! It has a touch of a fairy tale, political thriller, romance, and Native American and Latino histories, with the undercurrent of a potentially life-changing message. The author uses beautiful garden descriptions to illustrate her message of God’s healin ...more
Aug 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dang it, Ellie, you did it again. I started out to pace myself, a few pages a day and savor the story. But no, you wouldn't let me. Before I knew it, another all-nighter as you sucked me into this fascinating tale of intrigue and treachery. You build subplots on subplots, weave your characters in and out of the tale, always choosing the exact word needed to advance the story.

Just to get even, I'm going to read it again before I buy another of your books.
Sally Brandle
Jul 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Creating a story of love, loyalty, politics, mental illness, trauma, and gardening-all bound together with Christian threads is seamlessly done by Eleanor. Her characters are well developed and varied. Once I got past the initial unique opening sequence and became immersed, I carved out the time to finish it. There were a couple of places in the middle where I lost my way, but the story of her main characters' struggles pushed me through. This was my first 'Christian' read, and I enjoyed it.
Anne Campbell
Aug 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wow; just w.o.w. I wish I could give this unparalleled story ten stars. It may have been slow in getting reviews, but there's a reason why those who did review this book gave it five stars. I do too. It's the story of two people who cannot fall in love but do, and it's absolutely nothing like the typical romance.

A man with a severe allergy to bananas collapses in Linda's garden in anaphylactic shock. Linda knows she must help, and he begs feebly that she not reveal that he is in her care. She he
Yvonne Johns
The Father Knows Best

Sometime in our life we've all had the thought that we would run things differently if we were in charge. That did cross my mind several times as I read this book and tried to figure out how this could possibly come right in the end. The author has crafted this story completely in keeping with God's character and leading to an extremely satisfying conclusion with lots of surprises and blessings beyond my imagining! Well done!
Lila Diller
How do I review this unique book? I'm not sure even how to rate it.

I really appreciated the quality of writing and editing, which deserves 5 stars! However, I don't think I agree with the author's main premise. Is this enough to deserve a star decrease? I guess.

This is definitely not a book for those of us who just want a light romance to escape with. This book is for those who want to think hard, to be challenged in their beliefs, and to not escape from our current world but be confronted with
Deana Dick
Apr 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This story reminds me of a package that you unpack anxiously awaiting the gift that is buried under piles of paper. You have to remove each layer until the gift appears. It is like getting rid of unwanted weeds in a garden so you can see the beauty that God has provided. Each time I think about the book, I realize just how precious the words are that filled my soul with a deep love I have never felt.

Linda is a gifted gardener who takes flowers and makes them works of glory. The gardens provide
Sep 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed An Unpresentable Glory by Eleanor Gustafson very much. This book is a fast-paced, highly engaging page turner that I struggled to put down unless I absolutely had to.

I enjoyed the premise to this novel — this idea of an unpresentable glory. An unpresentable glory is an action that at surface level looks not so good, but that is actually a kindness done to another person that allows that person to witness God’s glory. It’s kind of a confusing idea, but this concept reminded me of the me
Emilie Haney
Jun 21, 2019 rated it liked it
This book was an enigma to me and very hard to review star-wise. I landed on 3 but could see it being a 4 in some respects.

I’ll start off with saying it is not your typical Christian romance. There is a spark but it is long in finding full flame (possibly too long for some). Also, there are some aspects to the book (mentions of sex though within the context of marriage) that will turn off some Christian fiction readers. Personality, I think it was over the top in some aspects and not needed, bu
Chloe (aka Crystal)
Nov 12, 2018 rated it it was ok
After taking a look at some reviews for.this book, I feel like I might be one of the few people who really didn't prefer this book.

There was so much potiental. The description was pretty good as well as the writing and that is one of the main things that really make me like a book. The title is really intriguing, to be honest. An Unpresentable Glory. I'm not really sure how to explain what it means, but I think it's a neat one. I also found it interesting how the author intertwined politics as w
Becky Van Daniker
Sep 12, 2018 rated it it was ok
I think I’m going to be one of the few who wasn’t a fan of “An Unpresentable Glory” by Eleanor Gustafson. I struggled to get in this one.

This story has a powerful idea about an unpresentable glory. What does that mean exactly? An unpresentable glory is when looked at from the surface level does not look good, but is actually a type of kindness towards another person that allows the person to see the glory of God. It sounds confusing, but it is a kindness done to another person that doesn’t seek
Joy Hunt
Apr 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Things I Loved About An Unpresentable GloryI love the image of God's "unpresentable glory" in this novel.  For me, it's the things that God has done that are behind the scenes, things that are maybe not mentionable in polite company.  I love that God enters into the undignified places in our lives and shines his light in there - even if no one else will ever see.

I loved the gardens and garden imagery in this novel. I don't know a ton about gardens - my sister is the agronomist.  I know, I know -
Carole Jarvis
Sep 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Reviewed at The Power of Words:

An Unpresentable Glory by new-to-me author Eleanor Gustafson is an unusual and delightful gem. This provocative story combines elements of relationship drama, romance, and women’s fiction – with an underlying spiritual thread moving steadily throughout. Characters are richly drawn and there’s a complexity of plot that drew me in from the beginning and never let go.

The setting spans from Linda’s home in upper state New York, to Senator Lawrie’
Connie Saunders
Oct 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
"My friend Linda Jensen's reputation has been injured, along with that of Senator Lawrence Crofter. And I inadvertently made it happen. A reporter turned a totally innocent remark into a scurrilous bit of muck that damaged them both. I sincerely regret talking with this man and dropping the clue that led him to put together the worst possible construct."

This conversation sounds like it could have been spoken on the nightly news but it is instead found in this new book by Eleanor K. Gustafson. 'A
Patti Whitson Stephenson She Lives to Read
This book is unique and very different from most “Christian” romance novels.
The storyline is quite involved and kept me reading to see how everything would come together at the end. The author is a talented writer, and I’d read more of her books.

But I’m still not sure how I feel about this book. There were sections of this story that I loved. There were also sections that I thought made the plot too long and should have been cut from the storyline. There were just SO many things happening that
MaryAnn Bell
Mar 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
I trusted you, and some day, you may know just how much you hold in your hands.” Linda Jensen leads a relatively quiet life in Westchester County, New York, as the owner of a highly acclaimed garden. Inherited from her parents, the garden is her pride and joy. It is not so joyful finding a strange man sprawled near her delphiniums! The mysterious man is sick, unable to do anything more than drink water—and beg for secrecy. Ignoring all alarm bells, Linda sees to his needs, but her caring act tak ...more
Stephanie Norton
Nov 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
An Unpresentable Glory by Eleanor Gustafson is a heartwarming romance with great twists. It is a fiction story that covers a variety of topics such as mental illness, depression, loneliness. Eleanor K Gustafson gives some history on Native American and Latino. It shows what being a true Christian is all about. Linda welcomes a total stranger who goes into anaphylactic shock. Linda couldn't leave him on his own so she welcomes this complete stranger into in her house. She allowed him to stay unti ...more
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Ellie Gustafson writes pretty good books these days. Been at it long enough to learn a few things. It all started in 1978 with my first published article, “I Saw a Thing Today,” about a couple of weasels I met on a stone wall in Vermont. Short stories and other articles followed, and then came Appalachian Spring. BIG learning curve. The editor slashed characters, whole chapters, and made a lot of ...more

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