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BOOK REVIEW – THE THORN KEEPER by PEPPER D. BASHAM

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My dear Catherine, could you reach beyond your shame and see what I see? What God sees?”

God dreamed bigger dreams for her than she ever could. (excerpted from The Thorn Keeper.)

 

When a person feels worthless, what hope is there for their life? When life has crushed a person’s spirit, what hope is there of recovery? When a person has ruined their reputation and tarnished their name, what cost to restoration? Is there any redemption?

 

This is the struggle Catherine Dougall must overcome. Her past was colorful, and her future—she can’t grasp it. Her past is gone, she’s a changed woman. She is devoted to living her life for Christ, walking out her newfound faith. She doesn’t, she believes, deserve anything good and lovely. Least of all the love of a good man.

 

Dr. David Ross is polished, high society, keeps tenuous control on his heart and emotions. His attraction to Catherine—it’s a fluke, it can’t be. His focus and priority is the war hospital and patients, soldiers wounded on the front lines of war. His distraction is Catherine Dougall, who has applied herself to God’s service. In his hospital. In his daily routine. And in his heart.

 

Oh! how this reviewer can relate to Catherine’s feelings of unworthiness. How I know the sense of duty to repay Father’s kindness toward me. How I feel I can never “earn” or have the beautiful things in life. Even if they are gifts freely given. Oh! how wrong I was.

 

Will Catherine—can Catherine—ever let go her shame? Will she learn to embrace the love Father gives? Freely gives? Can she ever understand her debt is gone and she has been made new? Can she ever allow herself to love the man her heart yearns for? Will she—and David—be able to “…learn to trust in a God who never forgets his children and fashions beauty out of the most broken things?”

 

Ms. Basham has done it again. Written such characters I felt as if I were there in the Derbyshire countryside with them. I felt the strain of the tension as she so deftly wove it, building it to the point of breaking. I cried as Catherine felt the weight of her past, a burden she no longer bore. I longed for love’s first touch—pure love’s first touch—as surely as she did. I fought her internal struggle to follow her shame and run away. Or embrace the new life that could be hers.

As surely as I loved the first book in this series, The Thorn Keeper has secured me as a forever fan of Ms. Basham’s writing. I look forward to devouring her next story, and taking the journey with her characters as they come to life on the page.

 

Oui, je comprends.” She nodded. “You fix things. I fix things. We do not like the unfixable things, non. But God is in them, changing us sometimes more than changing the wounds.

 

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Pepper D Basham has been telling tales ever since she was a little girl and fell in love with storytelling while listening to her granny share oral history. A native of the Blue Ridge Mountains, mom of five, speech-language pathologist, and lover of chocolate, Pepper enjoys sprinkling her native Appalachian culture into her fiction wherever she can. She currently resides in the lovely mountains of Asheville, NC, where she works with kids who have special needs, searches for unique hats, and plots new ways to annoy her wonderful friends at her group writing blog, The Writer’s Alley. She is represented by Julie Gwinn of Seymour Literary Agency. Her debut novel, The Thorn Bearer, arrives on May 7th 2015 and is the first book in the Penned in Time series. Her first contemporary romance, A Twist of Faith, is slated to release later the same year. You can find her at http://www.pepperdbasham.com or follow her writing antics on her Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Pepper-D-Basham or Twitter at https://twitter.com/pepperbasham

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#thethornkeeper, #pepperdbasham, #blueridgemountains, #derbyshireengland, #worldwarI, #thethornbearer

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