Faking Grace

2 Aug

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Tamara Leigh

Publisher: Multnomah Books

Publication Date: 2008

Paperback: 378 pages

Book Blurb:

All she wants is a job. All she needs is religion. How hard can it be?

Maizy Grace Stewart dreams of a career as an investigative journalist, but her last job ended in disaster when her compassion cost her employer a juicy deadline. A part-time gig at a Nashville newspaper might be her big break.

A second job at Steeple Side Christian Resources could help pay the bills, but they only hire committed Christians. Maizy is sure she can fake it with her “Five-Step Program to Authentic Christian Faith.” If only Jack Prentiss, Steeple Side’s managing editor and British hottie, wasn’t determined to prove her a fraud.

When Maizy’s newspaper boss pressures her to expose any skeletons in Steeple Side’s closet, she must decide to deliver the dirt and secure her career or lean on her newfound faith, change the direction of her life, and pray that her colleagues—and Jack—will show her grace.

Stand alone or series: Stand alone!

Why I read this book: I was looking for something I could read without committing a lot of time and money to a series. After reading the “Maizy Grace Stewart’s 5-Step Program to Authentic Christian Faith” on the first pages I knew I was in for a laugh and that was just what I needed.

Review:

You know all those stereotypes about Christians that you kind of wish didn’t exist? Well Maizy “Grace” takes on them all, complete with below the knee skirts and a Crown of Thorns air freshener to snag a job at a Christian publishing company. Expecting to find a group of uptight, Bible beaters, she’s surprised to meet a company full of beautifully imperfect people struggling with anorexia, parents struggling with rebellious kids and men and women who battle with desire just as much as she does.

I love that Tamara Leigh does not shy away from these subjects, and even better is the lens through which she does it. At first, Grace seeks out these flaws to expose the people at the Christian company for the frauds they really are. She finds plenty of flaws in them and in herself.  Yet she doesn’t uncover a group of blatant hypocrites as she expected to find. Instead she finds regular people struggling and striving to do God’s will. This community of loving, accepting people is a great picture of the body of Christ.

And of course, what romantic comedy would be complete without an adorable guy with blue eyes and a melting British accent? However, instead of melting at first sight Jack becomes her nemesis, the questions the authenticity of her claims on Christianity and threatens to expose her secret. What happens between them is well developed and had me on my toes to see what would happen.

Leigh does a fantastic job at creating round characters, full of life and quirks. You can’t help but cheer for them through their many struggles, of their own making or of unhappy accidents. The plot keeps moving and getting thicker as revelations and obstacles crop up for Maizy and her friends. It will keep you reading til the end.

This was one of my top two reads last summer. It’s a quick, fun read that doesn’t shy away from the fact that Christians are not perfect. In fact, it’s often through those imperfections that we can draw closer to God. I recommend this book to all!

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