August 14, 2012

UNRAVELED, A Novel - by Sharon K. Souza

Unraveled: Masterfully Woven, Powerfully Tender

“Heart-of-the-matter Fiction with a good dose of humor” is a spot-on description of Sharon K. Souza’s latest work, an intelligent, engaging style of storytelling I thoroughly enjoyed. The writing is stylish and masterful, full of wit and fresh turns of phrase. The story is thought provoking yet entertaining, and full of endearing characters. I rarely find a story so hard to put down as I did this.

Eager and idealistic, Aria Winters sets out on a mission to be the “hands and feet of God” to those in need. It’s a great goal, especially for a young woman of privilege. She sees this year-long mission trip as a way to shed some self-absorbed attitudes as well as to get some distance from the safety-net of her family. Unfortunately, Aria has no idea how much shedding of her self, her presumptuous ideals, and the very basis of her faith she will face before her time is up.

The people of Moldova open Aria’s eyes to life and people outside the status and shelter of her comfortable sphere. Yet in Aria’s endearing, self-deprecating way, she determines to adjust and works hard to fit in, hopeful she might do some good, in spite of poor preparation and the handsome but terse co-worker who seems to see straight through her. Soon, this beautiful place, these people, and the eager children in her tutelage erase any lingering doubts she has about her purpose here.

 . . . Until a devastating tragedy occurs.

When the girl Aria has formed a special bond with becomes a victim of the worst kind of human-trafficking, Aria’s world is shaken. She is forced to face the horror of her own carelessness, the truth about her ideals, and her serious doubts about God. How can he allow such unspeakable horror? How can Aria “work for” someone who won’t protect the innocent?

And how can Aria make right the secret sins in her own life if God won’t listen to her prayers?

Unraveled is a powerful yet tender story full of wisdom and grace. Its sorrows and joys will move you, leave you feeling as though you’ve knelt alongside Aria and unpacked some difficult to grasp truths gently wrapped in layers of God’s grace and compassion. So gentle but direct, so straight to the “heart of the matter.” So like Jesus.

I was touched and encouraged by this beautifully woven story, one I sincerely hope won’t be Souza’s last.


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Author Website:
Sharon K. Souza



UNRAVELED
is available HERE on Amazon




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ALLOW ME TO INTRODUCE MYSELF. . . .

RANDOM FACTS ABOUT ME:

I've published three novels and a novella (more about those on my website.) I've been writing all my life, but decided in 2007 to get serious about being published.

I love action movies and Jane Austen. (she’s dead, I know. I found that out when I tried to get her to endorse my novel)

They let me play Bass guitar and sing in a worship band.

I can produce 4 dozen homemade cinnamon rolls in a flash for a crowd of drooling young adults. Or publishing house editors.

I used to have a Harley. Now we have twenty-something kids. Decent trade, really. The window-rattling grumble isn't quite the same, but we are still enjoying the ride.

I am a proud Grammy. Don't even think about taking candy from my babies.

I hate shopping (Yes, I'm aware that I'm a girl)

MY ROOTS:
I've lived in Oregon all my life, spent time in Eugene (Go DUCKS!), Springfield, Reedsport, and Smith River. Which is not really a town, but a river, about 70 miles long, a tributary of the Umpqua River in southwest Oregon.

Although it's not a town, it is a community with a strong sense of pioneer history. It's cool to say you've lived there, especially if you lived there during the days when you had to take a boat to school. No joke! The old farmhouse my grandfather and my mother grew up in still stands, nestled into a narrow, pasture carpeted valley, complete with a swimmin' hole and its own 'crick'. It may turn up in one of my novels.

There's a rumor that my ancestors had a connection with the Mafia back in Sicily. I used to fantasize as a kid about a big black limo with tinted windows pulling up and whisking me away from school. Ahhh. So THAT'S why I'm having so much trouble conjugating my dangling participles now.

NOT RANDOM: I am challenged by the truth and amazed by the grace of God. And it's either in spite of or because of that grace that I hold a PhD in Learning Stuff the Hard Way.

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