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Zondervan The Weight of Shadows

After a difficult childhood, Kim finds everything she needs in Rick-including a way to pay for her sins. A gripping, gritty novel, The Weight of Shadows, by Alison Strobel, explores how the choices we make and the risks we take for those we love can touch the lives of others forever.
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5
 out of 
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Customer Reviews for The Weight of Shadows
Review 1 for The Weight of Shadows
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:September 18, 2010
God's grace covers all. His redemption touches all. His forgiveness can wash us all. Alison Strobel has written a beautiful story that shows us just how mighty God is and how one choice can change our lives forever. This story brings together, Kim, a young woman facing abuse, Debbie, a woman who is working at a women's shelter, and Joshua, a father, trying to raise his daughter after his wife's death. As each detail unfolds in this gripping story you just keep turning pages. I was not able to put this book down until I finished the last page. Even though I have never found myself in any of these character's positions Alison has a way of making us feel connected with each character. Our pasts haunt us and at times we are not able to forgive ourselves. We find ourselves searching for ways to cover our pain. Each of these characters brought out something valuable. Our need to be loved, forgiven and accepted. We carry such weight and walk in shadows hoping others do not notice our pain. Alison Strobel has a rare gift in bringing such a painful story to light. This is such a hard subject, but this book shows every side of pain. I can tell you, this book is a gem. It is a treasure to hold in your hands. This was the first book I have read of Strobel and it will not be my last. Wow!This was a gift from Zondervan for it's review.robinsnest66.blogspot.com
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Review 2 for The Weight of Shadows
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:September 16, 2010
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Doreen Blair
A captivating book. This was one of the most interesting fiction novels I have read. I have never read any of Alison Strobel's novels but she handles with such sensitivity and compassion the sadness of domestic abuse. Writing the book with so many emotions helped me understand just how devastating the emotion of guilt can totally make you lose objectivity and the ability to make wise decisions. The story unfolds as you meet the main characters: Kim, Joshua, Debbie, Maddie. Each character is such an interesting person with many qualities that are healthy and unhealthy. Each interacts most realistically and intriguingly with each other and interestingly for the reader. The author manages to write the story with such candor and thoughtful verbage that you will find it difficult to put it down. I found myself wanting to talk to Kim, cry with Maddie and cheer Joshua's bravery. I began this captivating book one day and had to completely make myself put it down and go about my normal activities.While this book certainly draws in the personal relationship with Jesus Christ and how that definitely makes the difference in life. It is realistic and you will identify with her characters whether as your own personal story, story of one you love or find yourself wanting to help others your path crosses. I received this book from Zondervan Publishing at no cost to review. They do not require it be a positive review, just an honest review.
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Review 3 for The Weight of Shadows
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:July 24, 2010
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bigguysmama
This is the first novel Ive read by Alison Strobel and it was amazing! The Weight of Shadows is not a touchy, feely, life-is-perfect novel. In fact, its hard hitting and a stark contrast to most of the Christian novels I read.Alison tackles topics that you dont see very often, if at all in Christian fiction and she doesnt hold back. Abuse and self-cutting are the two topics that are tackled in The Weight of Shadows and you can tell Alison did her homework.When Kim meets Rick, you think this is a sweet match made in heaven. Unfortunately, heaven doesnt last long for this couple. Kim learns very quickly that Rick has expectations and they had better be met.Debbie is struggling after the loss of her sister a number of years before. She deals with the struggle by throwing herself into her job. Her work at the Womens shelter is becoming more of a weight to bear.Joshua lost his wife and is beginning to move on with his daughter. His in-laws bring tension into their lives that no one deserves. This was one of the best parts of the story, even though it was a hard one to read. Alison didnt hold back with the nastiness of the in-laws and Joshua tried to be as kind as possible, but had to draw the line at some point.The lives of Kim, Rick, Debbie and Joshua begin to intersect as the story unfolds. You dont lose site of the story lines as you read through the Weight of Shadows. You are more and more drawn in.Yes, faith is involved in the novel, but Alison doesnt clobber you over the head with it. Not that theres anything wrong with being clobbered by the Lord. =)I have got to say, this will be in the top 5 books that Ive read this year, if not the best!I received my book from Alison and Zondervan to review. The opinions expressed are my own!
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Review 4 for The Weight of Shadows
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:July 14, 2010
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Renee C.
If you're in the mood for a light, fluffy read you probably won't want to read this book but if you want a dramatic, gritty, realistic book, pick up The Weight of Shadows! This is my first encounter with author Alison Strobel's work and I'm really glad that I had the opportunity to "meet" her through blogging and reading her book. As a person who knows someone who is currently dealing with a domestic violence I can say that Alison's portrayal of Kim's story is very authentic. I couldn't help but cry for Kim and Anne and their abusive situation. The secondary characters are very well written too. Even though they are trying to help Kim, they have problems of their own, which in my opinion, makes this story even more true to life. The story grabbed and held my attention so much so that I could barely put it down and considering that it isn't a romance or historical book, that's a miracle! I look forward to reading what Alison pens next. *i received my free review copy from the publisher.*
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Review 5 for The Weight of Shadows
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:July 10, 2010
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Vicki Newell
This is the first book by Alison Strobel I've read, and it was a doozy. The story goes back and forth from character to character. Kim is being abused by Rick, Joshua is raising his young daughter after his wife dies, and he has to deal with his in laws, and Debbie is there for everyone, know matter what they need. All the characters are multi faceted and well developed. The characters of Kim and especially Rick were so spot on, the author must have done much research about abuse for this book.The main message I got out of the book is that no matter what you've done in the past, God can and will forgive you and that you need to forgive yourself. The only negative thing I can say about the book is that there was an overload of characters mentioned that you never read about again.Overall this book was an amazing read. I highly recommend it and I can't wait to read more from Alison Strobel.
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Review 6 for The Weight of Shadows
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:July 9, 2010
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Jen Stephens
In The Weight of Shadows, Alison Strobel tells a powerful story that vividly illustrates the torture that comes when we fail to leave our burdens at our Savior's cross. As a result, of a terrible, unresolved event from her past, Kim, succumbs to abuse, first at her own hand and then at the hand of another, as a means of justification. Likewise, Debbie is a stranger at love because of the guilt she harbors from a tragedy she feels she could have prevented. Ms. Strobel delicately interweaves these characters lives and circumstances, eventually leading to a shocking twist that left me breathless, and ultimately proving that God's mercy and goodness will truly guide a lost soul home. The Weight of Shadows made me want to cry, scream, laugh, and dance. It will definitely minister to anyone who has ever had a tortured spirit, and it will remind us all that shadows only occur when WE STAND IN THE WAY OF THE LIGHT. Well done, Ms. Strobel! I'm sincerely looking forward to your next release!
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Review 7 for The Weight of Shadows
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:July 1, 2010
"The Weight of Shadows" is an extremely well written book about domestic violence and abuse. Alison delicately, but truthfully, handles the subject and makes this a book that every female should read. Although it has some disturbing situations, this one is going to be required reading for my daughter. Abuse is not always seen by the person involved until it's too late, and this book points out those signs, while incorporating them into a gripping story.This is a book I couldn't put down. It was painful to read at times, but still one that kept me captive until the very end. To deal with domestic abuse and to be able to crawl inside the head of a victim is a gift. Alison was blessed with that gift. Kim, the main character, felt real - too real. Many times, I wanted to save her, to shake her and have her wake up. It was difficult at times to sit behind the pages of the book, knowing that there was nothing I could do except go along for the ride. Hmmm - just like the real thing... Watching an abused woman until she decides it is time to get help.I highly recommend this book to all females. I would suggest that parents read this before giving it to their teens. It is full of information that should be discussed between parents and their children. Knowing that abuse it not the victim's fault and that they never deserve it, may just prevent a potential problem in their future.Parental note: Contains domestic abuse, violence, cutting, discussions of women wanting to kill their husbands and living together outside of marriage.
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Review 8 for The Weight of Shadows
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:June 4, 2010
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Christy Lockstein
The Weight of Shadows by Alison Strobel is a moving novel about the power of secrets. Kim has been running from a terrible night seven years ago while trying to build a life for herself after a childhood in foster care. Rick seems to be everything she's ever wanted, but their relationship moves so fast, they've moved in together after only three months. Their neighbor Joshua is starting over with his four-year-old daughter Maddie after the death of his wife from breast cancer. After the loss of his job, he's forced to sell their home and move into the apartment next to Rick & Kim because of the mountainous medical bills. What he hears through the thin walls between their apartments will threaten his life with Maddie. Debbie hasn't been able to have a healthy relationship with a man since the death of her sister Gina. Instead she's thrown all of her energy into working at a women's shelter, trying to rescue them after failing Gina. Strobel, the author of Violette Between, has a unique voice in Christian fiction. She takes three very disparate voices who each have a tragic past and brings them together in a way that will offer true healing. She accurately depicts a woman trapped in an abusive relationship with compassion and respect. As the violence escalates, so does the tension until it's nearly impossible to put the book down. (I stayed up until 2 am to finish it!) Beautifully written with a message of hope, Strobel is a writer to watch.
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Review 9 for The Weight of Shadows
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:May 23, 2010
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Monique
We don't forgive ourselves. We did something, in our past, that we just haven't gotten over. God has forgiven us. The person we hurt has probably forgiven us. But we haven't forgiven ourselves. And because we haven't we're stuck. We fell that we're not worthy of something better or we feel that we're getting what we deserve. Or both. So we have stopped living in the moment, and continue to live in the past. This hurts us and it hurts our families and friends?This book was so real. It wasn't over-the-top. It wasn't missing any details. It was just exactly right. For me, anyway. My favorite parts were the starting over parts. Each of the characters had something that was holding them back from living in the moment. Something in their past they were afraid to give up. For Joshua, it was the death of his wife. For Kim, it was a tragic occurrence when she was a foster child. For Debbie, it was the last conversation she had with her sister before her sister died. But they each also have someone who is rooting for them. They just don't realize it. And the ending has an oh-my-goodness! twist that I wasn't expecting at all!This is a Christian fiction book. If that scares you, then this book isn't for you. If you simply don't understand Christianity, then you should take a look, since the characters will try to break-it-down for you. But it's not in-your-face. I like that.
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Review 10 for The Weight of Shadows
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:May 19, 2010
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LaTawnia Kintz
The Weight of Shadows by Alison Strobel is a gripping novel that explores how the choices we make and the courage to forgive can touch the lives of others. This a novel that looks at life, love and faith in a very realistic way. The lives of her characters could be that of your next door neighbor or family member, they are so real.Alison Stobel has taken three people who are dealing with very real life issues and brought them together in a way that will have you holding your breath as you turn the page. Your heart goes out to each character and their own situation. You can't help but get involved because any part of this plot could be from a part of your own life or someone you personally know. I found myself pulling for Kim, Joshua and Debbie in each of their dilemmas. Kim was so weighted down by her guilt and making decisions based on that guilt. I just wanted to hug her and let her know she could let go and grab a hold of God instead. Joshua was doing everything he could to be a good father and provide for his daughter, and his in-laws were making things so hard. Then there's Debbie, how many women have I known like her? She's like that family member who just does for everyone and pours her heart out to those who other people ignore. She gives counseling and care to them, yet can't seem to get her own heart straight. This is a wonderful story and the ending wasn't what I was expecting. I am so glad I read this book. It has encouraged me in my faith, knowing that no matter what, God is always in control and that no matter what, I can always turn to Him, in any given situation and He will make things right, His way, of course. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to read a great novel about real people with real problems, who find a real solution. It will make you cry, make you angry, and encourage you, causing you to stretch your faith and believe in something impossible.
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