Author: Beth Wiseman
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Christian families appear to have perfect lives, perfect marriages and perfect children from the outside, yet there is always more than the eye beholds. In Beth Wiseman’s Need You Now, this best-selling author tells a current-day, realistic story about life in the real world by relying on God, not ourselves.
This three hundred and twelve page novel has a young blonde woman’s face enlarged on the front cover with a couple walking in a serene pasture in the background. The back cover has a description of the book along with one review. Inside, the first few pages and the end of the book have acclaims, other written novels by the author, a dedication, a reading group guide, “cutting” resources, acknowledgements and a short biography. No grammatical or typographical errors were noticed. There were several sentence structures using dangling prepositions.
Wiseman tells an empathetic story about a Christian family who moves from the big city to the rural life in Texas, only to be challenged by a middle teenage child who appears “perfect” but resorts to cutting herself to deal with emotional pain and stress. Darlene, the main character in the book, is a stay-at-home mom who decides to go to work full time as their three children are now teens. Getting a job at a school for special needs children, she takes care of an autistic twelve year old girl. This inquisitive girl’s widowed father makes inappropriate advances to which Darlene succumbs. Meanwhile, Darlene’s husband, Brad, becomes partner in his accounting firm, keeping him away longer and later at night, giving Darlene doubts about his fidelity. A neighbor friend with lots of personal baggage becomes Darlene’s best friend and a Goth friend of the daughter is initially shunned by the family. These two play undercurrents to the core of overcoming one’s problems based on their own lives.
The backbone of the book is God and how He not only forgives us but how we need to forgive others. The book is for someone who is already a Christian and trying to grasp that we are not at all perfect, we will never be and that only God can heal us of our pain, anxiety, stress and guilt when we sin or turn away from Him. It is not preachy or pretentious. The reader walks away hopefully considering how he or she needs to rely on God more for guidance, for forgiveness and most of all, to help deal with our own guilt.
After enjoying this book, I want to read the author’s series of novels about the Amish since she is an engaging, compassionate Christian writer.