Book Review: “Threads Of Joy” by Sharlene MacLaren

May 2, 2015 at 12:53 pm | Posted in Books | Leave a comment
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Sharlene MacLaren in her new book, “Threads Of Joy book coverThreads Of Joy” Book Two in the Tennessee Dreams series published by Whitaker House takes us into the life of Joy Westfall.

From the back cover:  Joy Westfall seems too young to be jaded, but the twenty-eight-year-old has already weathered more hardship and sorrow than most people twice her age. She moves home to Paris, Tennessee, with her three-year-old daughter, the only good thing to have come from her mistake of a marriage and sets up housekeeping, as well as her tailoring business, in a tiny abode she inherited from her aunt. She doesn’t much mind living on the outskirts of town, especially since the residents of Paris seem disinclined to welcome a divorcee. The same is true of the congregants of the church next door. Just as well. Joy doesn’t need their sympathy.

Lucas Jennings feels blessed to be shepherding his own flock so early in life. Since his arrival, the congregation of Paris Evangelical Church has swelled, of course, it can’t hurt that he’s an eligible bachelor. Single women flock to the church from all over Henry County, yet none of them, not even the most pious manages to capture his attention quite like the newcomer next door, who is hungry for the gospel but unwilling to admit it.

A spark ignites between the “scandalous” divorcee and the upright pastor, but Joy’s rocky past has made her wary of male attention, and her feelings of failure, not to mention her disbelief in a God of love, drives an even deeper wedge between them. Moreover, Lucas puts the brakes on their budding friendship when his congregants begin to question his intentions. When an unforeseen danger threatens Joy and her daughter, will the tight-knit town stand by and watch? Or will they open their hearts to the God of mercy and allow Him to do an unexpected work?

You would think a person named Joy would be, at least, somewhat happy. Joy really has nothing to be happy about. She married, had a daughter, then found out the man was already married and cheating on her. So she is now divorced and living outside of town because the townspeople are shunning her because she is a divorcee. However she lives right next to the church and likes what she hears. Pastor Lucas is single and likes both Joy and her daughter but has to be careful to not cause a scandal. This is all about forgiveness and forgiveness and many levels; forgiveness of self, of others, from God. And then on top of that there is the romance–not just any kind of romance but a real, gentle romance that only springs from God.  Ms. MacLaren does an outstanding job with all the characters especially Lucas and Joy and we really get behind them to succeed. I am so looking forward to the next book in this series.

You can find “Threads Of Joy” at a discount at

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Whitaker House.   I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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