Friday, January 11, 2008

Chill Out Josey!

Can I tell you about a fun book I recently read? I haven’t been reading much fiction lately, but when I heard about these stories, I thought they were written just for me. Susan May Warren, the author, lives in my neck of the woods and spent eight years as a missionary in Russia.

Did I mention that I was a missionary in that part of the world too? I’m beginning to think Susan is a soulmate. (If only I were a fiction writer….)

So, I picked up the first book, Everything’s Coming up Josey, with interest. The typical elements of a romance novel were there, but there was something more. Josey’s personality jumped off the pages – she is not the pristine and perfect heroine we often envy. Instead, her inner dialogue reveals a real girl with honest worries and struggles in her faith. I related to Josie as if she were a flesh and blood girlfriend.

After Josey marries her sweetheart, Chase, she imagines that she will live a normal, three bedroom, picket-fence kind of life. But God had other plans for her. In the second book, Chill Out Josey, she moves back to Russia with Chase working long hours trying to support his wife in this new role as husband. And all the while, Josey has a BIG secret that she manages to keep for longer than I ever could as my growing stomach would have given it away!

Josey's happily ever after turned into an adventure filled ride leading her to personal growth. She attempts to be the Proverbs 31 wife and her failures were heartening to those of us who fail in the homemaking department.

Susan’s writing engages the reader and her sweet Josey captured my heart as a true kindred spirit (if one could befriend an ink and paper character, that is). The visualization of Russia brought me back into the heart of this challenging and yet magical culture. The Metro, the unexpected experiences at the doctor’s, the filling foods, the stoic faces and the hurting hearts. My heartstrings were especially pulled on by Josie’s relationship with the orphanage and her housekeeper, who is struggling financially. It brought back so many memories - like the little kids dressing up in costumes to perform so perfectly for us at Christmas one year.

And, the story has a few great surprises in it too!

If you are looking for some fun reading that might just minister to your heart as well, I’d recommend checking out Everything’s Coming Up Joey and the sequel, Chill Out Josey!

Susan May Warren is having a contest – go check it out! Submit your funniest/craziest/most embarrassing PREGNANCY STORY and be entered to win a Super Fabulous, Ultra Deluxe Chill Out, Mom SPA BASKET!


Denise said...

Sound like great books, thanks.

SharonB said...

Heather sounds great. I haven't read a fiction book in...well...a long time! I think these days my mind could use some fiction! :-) I'll have to look them up!

I have something for you over at my blog....

Susan said...

Hi Heather!

Thanks for helping to spread the word about Josey and her crazy antics!


Linda said...

I did a couple of short-term mission trips to Kazakhstan, formerly of the USSR, so I can relate to the stoic faces and sweet children trying so hard to impress and please. Thanks for the review and tips!