Melissa J. Troutman's Reviews > The Rivers of Judah

The Rivers of Judah by Catherine Farnes
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it was amazing

Good Christian fiction is hard to find. So when a friend lent me The Rivers of Judah by Catherine Farnes, I read it, read it again, read it to my mom, and read it again. It was that good.

Fifteen-year-old Rebekah Cahill isn’t disappointed when her church’s new senior pastor arrives. Ben Ewen is energetic, enthusiastic, and genuine, just what her church needs after five years of seeing four pastors come and go. Better yet, Pastor Ewen has three teenaged kids, the youngest of whom is a fellow high school junior named Judah. Rebekah becomes good friends with him as the Ewen family settles in the small Colorado town.

But Rebekah notices that under the family’s zeal for God lies a mysterious, painful past, like uneven floorboards under carpet. Others notice, too, and rumors and questions begin to circulate through the church. Rebekah learns the truth—a past tragedy involving Judah—and can only watch helplessly as the same truth rips apart not just the beautiful Ewen family but also the entire church.

Rebekah must learn to trust. Judah must learn to forgive. The church must learn to grow. But can they when Judah’s past is threatening to destroy what his family came to build?

The Rivers of Judah is one of the most gripping books I’ve ever read. Yet it is incredibly real at the same time, a feat few books—Christian or non-Christian—have accomplished. It portrays bluntly the true-to-life struggles of teenage friendships, church politics, and emotional conflicts (and does so without any language, sensuality, or Hollywood-style fakeness). The characters also are very believable, some more godly than others but none perfect.

I think Catherine Farnes just took a chunk of real life and framed it in her simple, real writing style. The Rivers of Judah is an excellent work of art, in many ways, and I recommend it to teenagers and adults alike.
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
November 19, 2013 – Shelved

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