Title: On Shifting Sand
Author: Allison Pittman
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.
“I can testify only to being a woman who’s stepped into a storm, just like Rosalie, looking for something elusive and lost. What does it matter that I might die? Better I should than to wander, choked but not killed by my sin,” Nola acknowledges in Allison Pittman’s novel, On Shifting Sand.
This four hundred and sixteen page paperback targets those who enjoy historical romance involving the Dust Bowl years. With no graphic sexual scenes or violence, the topic of anorexia, adultery, and death may not be appropriate for immature readers. This reader wishes all pronouns of God were capitalized for reverence. The ending includes author’s notes, discussion questions, the first chapter of a previous book, and the author’s biography.
After being a teacher for seventeen years, author Pittman has written over a dozen Christian novels, mainly focusing on historical fiction. Winner of several awards, she and her family live in Texas.
In this sad but poignant story written in first person, Nola Merrill has always felt unforgiven as she tries to survive in the 1930s in dusty and barren Oklahoma. Having a callous father, she prematurely marries Russ, a young preacher who seeks God’s will in his life and marriage.
When Russ’s buddy stays with the family against Nola’s wishes, not only does she keep secrets from her spouse, but she begins an adulterous relationship that she fears cannot be stopped.
As God shifts the wind-blown land around her, she becomes battered and broken, finding only discarded dirt in her mind, body, and soul. As she hides her sin deeper within, physically, mentally, and spiritually she feels a loss of purpose.
Knowing she must confess her wayward heart and actions, she continues to make promises that are broken to both Russ and God. Contemplating she is the cause of what happens around her, she must find inner peace and forgiveness.
Told from lonely and self-abasing viewpoint, Nola’s acceptance of her wrongdoings has an effect on others as guilt, blame, and self-doubt surface within her family. Praying her husband will continue to love her, she must truly thirst for the Lord to feel refreshed and whole again.
Written with a heartbrokenness that turns to hope, the story grasps the reader’s inner core when it comes to a defiled marriage that needs redemption. Although not a normal Christian topic often discussed, the humanness of man’s deprivation shows the desperate need for God.
Thanks to Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. for furnishing this complimentary book in exchange for a review based on the reader’s opinions.
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GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.