Friday, May 16, 2008

Sincerely, Mayla

4 stars

Sincerely, Mayla

Virginia Smith

Kregel Publishing


Mayla Strong went down the aisle and gave her life over to Jesus. She is a changed woman now. However, having God in your heart and life does not necessarily mean you are lying on a bed of roses. It seems that whatever can go wrong, does go wrong. Hence, she moves to sunny Florida, hoping her troubles would stay put. But they also follow her down to the white sandy beaches. A pregnant teenager, a friend who is upset about Mayla introducing a mutual friend to Jesus, her grandmother and Pastor Paul are all troubles she has to deal with. Will Mayla be able to handle everything?

Having read Mayla’s well-written conversion story, I was eagerly anticipating an equally scrumptious sequel. And I must say that I was not disappointed. Ms. Smith is a gifted writer capable of portraying characters and painting emotions on paper. Mayla’s character, though familiar to me from the first book, was still foreign due to the fact that new dimensions of her personality were revealed in each situation. Often authors create a character with a personality that does not change in the sequels. So readers can almost anticipate their actions and thoughts. This was not the case with Mayla. I was also pleasantly surprised to note that even if the book was in first person, it did not drag. The writing is quick and fast paced. Furthermore, Ms. Smith has addressed the issue of homosexuality tactfully and with finesse. And she has done an excellent job. Her portrayal of the circumstances presents to the Christian world what their response should be in a similar situation. Ms. Smith was also brave enough not to outwardly change Mayla and I applaud her for that. She does not have Mayla removing her multiple earrings or hiding her tattoos, demonstrating the fact that Jesus is in the business of changing the inside. Sincerely, Mayla was a very well-written book with deep-seated truths that caused me to think and evaluate my own ideas and expressions. I would recommend this book to anyone and am eagerly looking forward to her next one.

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