Friday, August 29, 2008

Book Review: Splitting Harriet by Tamara Leigh/5 Stars

About the book:

Once upon a time, I was a rebel. And I have the tattoo to prove it.

Then there was the spiked hair–the shade of which changed monthly–“colorful” language that can’t be found in your everyday sixteen-count crayon box, a pack-a-day habit, less-than-modest wardrobe, and an obsession with guitar-trashing, drum-bashing music.

Did I mention I’m also a preacher’s kid? That’s right. And like the prodigal son after whom I modeled myself, I finally saw the error of my ways and returned to the fold.

Today my life is all about “lead me not into temptation.” When I’m not serving as Women’s Ministry Director at my father’s church, I’m working at Gloria’s Morning Café. I even have worthy goals, like saving enough money to buy the café, keep my Jelly Belly habit under control, and to never again hurt the people I love. No more parties. No more unsavory activities. And no more motorcycles! You’d think I was finally on the right track.

But since my dad’s replacement hired a hotshot church consultant to revive our “dying” church, things aren’t working out as planned. And now this “consultant” says I’m in need of a little reviving myself. Just who does this Maddox McCray think he is anyway? With his curly hair that could use a good clipping, tattoo that he makes no attempt to hide, and black leather pants, the man is downright dangerous. In fact, all that’s missing is a motorcycle. Or so I thought… But if he thinks he’s going to take me for a ride on that 1298cc machine of his, he can think again. Harriet Bisset is a reformed woman, and she’s going to stay that way. Even if it kills me!

My thoughts:

Meet Harriet Bisset….. prodigal daughter of a preacher and lover of Jelly Bellys. She also happens to be the director of women’s ministries at the church where her father was the former pastor, and she’s doing her best to keep things from changing too much. Who needs a contemporary worship service when you’ve got a beautiful organ and an organist that’s been faithful to play it for 30 years? Unfortunately for Harri, the church board members have hired a consultant to bring the church into the 21st century.

When consultant Maddox McCray arrives, Harri doesn’t care for him one bit. But when he starts revitalizing the women’s ministry activities, Harri has to admit that maybe he has a clue about what he’s doing. Oh, and how she doesn’t want to have feelings for him, but that’s easier said than done.

This book was so enjoyable, and right up my alley. I loved the occasional touches of humor, and the depth of Harri's character. She tries so hard to please God, and to keep herself above reproach, because Lord knows, she's already had enough of that in her life. Mix Harri's character with all the struggles going on at her church, and you've got a great book that really makes you think. Being a former PK myself, it's not an option to be away from prying eyes and gossip circulating about you and your family. Tamara Leigh did an excellent job of revealing Harri's conflicting emotions about what Harri would prefer to see happen versus what was best for the church as a whole.

5 Stars

Southern?  No
Sass?  Yes, loaded with it!