Author: Sharon Srock
Series: Sisters by Design, book 1 (Ladies of Garfield, book 10)
Major Themes: Cults
Synopsis: After living in a cult for 30 years, Mac doesn’t know what friendship or true love are.
Mac is a rather unusual book. It sucked me in and held my attention all the way through. There were aspects in this story that I liked—and others that I didn’t appreciate, but I never lost interest in the story itself!
Mackenzie Soeurs had spent the first 30 years of her life in a religious community in New York, but when her much-older husband died, she was able to leave and begin a new life for herself and her son Riley in Oklahoma. The spa for women which she started, after training for a couple of years, promised to be a success, although she was baffled by the way a group of four women, close friends for many years, interacted with each other—she had never had a friend in her life. Another complication was the trouble Riley was getting himself into at school—and her mother, who needed her to care for her after a stroke.
Then one day, things come to a head when Riley attempts to steal from Dane, the handyman Mac hired to do a job for her. God impresses on Dane’s heart that he is the one to help the boy adjust to life in society, but every time God or the Bible are mentioned in Mac’s hearing, she reacts very sourly. What will it take for her to learn that God is a God of love? Can she let other people be her friends—and what about Dane and his phobia of allowing himself to care for a woman? How will God be able to work with all these needs?
As I said, I really appreciated a lot about this book. I liked the way the four women saw a woman in need and jumped in to help her. That really challenged me—could I help someone like that? The way they showed God’s love to a hurting person was wonderful. I also liked the emphasis on men and women being equal before God. On the other hand, I didn’t like the stereotypical point of view of the cult Mac came from. Women wearing long dresses does not have to equal oppression. To sum up my thoughts, I recommend this book with reservations. The basic story is great—but I didn’t appreciate the extremism coupled with simple dresses.
WARNING: As in the last paragraph.