Title: An Extra Mile
Author: Sharon Garlough Brown
Series: Sensible Shoes, book 4
Major Themes: Faith, Friendships
Synopsis: Four women continue their journeys of faith, learning to follow the Lord wherever He chose to lead them.
I’ve greatly enjoyed my trip through the Sensible Shoes series, and as I got to the last book, An Extra Mile, I realized I’d likely miss the stories after finishing it. There’s something about the way Sharon Garlough Brown writes that draws you into the setting and gives you food for thought as well as a solid storyline, relatable characters, and beautiful prose. I’ve been impressed by her prowess since the very beginning, and that didn’t change all the way through—even though this book felt like a bit of a letdown compared to the others.
As with the other three books in the series, there are four main characters. Hannah, newly married and determined to do her best to integrate with her new setting and family, finds that it’s much harder to make some transitions than she anticipated. For Charissa, though her news about her pregnancy was hard to handle, she’s coming to a place of acceptance. Things might not look the way she wants them to, but God’s hand is undeniably in it all. Now that Mara’s divorce is starting to wrap up, she feels like she has more time to expend her energy on others. That isn’t always met with the open hands she wishes for, but finding a balance and learning to love on her sons well—even when they don’t want to accept it—is a process she is trying to navigate with grace. Becca’s life has fallen around her, and as she works through her grief and regrets, she has a chance to make positive changes. But will she accept the help when it’s offered to her?
An Extra Mile was full of rich characters, deep struggles, the glories of God’s love and grace, and a sense of hope in the middle of sorrow. I loved seeing each character develop further in their spiritual life and physical surroundings and relationships. Some of them were struggling with some deep things, but watching them move through that and try to find hope was an encouragement to me.
Unfortunately, this book was also a disappointment in several areas. Hannah married a man who had previously been divorced, and though I know that happens a lot in our current culture, I can’t agree with that decision from a Biblical standpoint. She was also a former pastor throughout the series, and in this book, she was encouraged to get into that role again and preached a sermon. Again, I can’t agree with that—in my opinion, that is an unbiblical stance. And with the lifestyle Becca was leading, several scenes made me cringe. I understand why they were there, but they were too detailed for my liking.
I’m glad I got to read An Extra Mile, but don’t feel like I can recommend it as highly as the other ones. There were a lot of encouraging things in here, but the portions I couldn’t agree with made it harder for me to love the book as a whole.
WARNING: Words used: Swear, cursed, snog, crap, and “speak of the devil”, with some lying here and there. As mentioned before, there is divorce and remarriage here as well as a woman pastor. Sex is mentioned multiple times, often in connection with an immoral lifestyle, indecent dress, and drinking. Though it was generally carefully worded, chapters 3, 5, 6, 9, and 12 all have some description of sin, especially sexual sin, more than I was comfortable with. A woman is in labor in chapters 7 and 13, and there are some descriptions of that.
Reading Independently—Ages 15 and Above, Adults
Links to buy this book:
Amazon: Paperback | Kindle | Audible Audiobook (unabridged)
AbeBooks: View Choices on AbeBooks.com
Book Depository: Paperback
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