Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Tia McCollors's Steppin' into the Good Life ~ Reviewed
By Tia McCollors
Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Lift Every Voice; 1 edition (February 1, 2011)
Shelia Rushmore thought she'd be the last woman standing when it was time to fight for her man. Instead Ace, her boyfriend of two years, chose to reunite with his ex-wife, leaving Shelia emotionally devastated. It's a year later when Sheila is convinced that sneaking into their wedding ceremony will put closure on the gaping hole in her heart. But it's on the back pew of the church where a new relationship begins for Shelia. She can't explain the touch she received from God on that day, but she's determined to be a better woman-a woman of faith. Since high school, Shelia has been chasing her definition of the good life - it's left her with no home, no man, and no money. But now that's she's living life for God, things should get better, right? Shelia learns that living a faith-filled life isn't always easy.
With faith, tough love, and some tough decisions, Shelia realizes that the life she'd been praying for she could have for herself is actually attainable. Being wrapped in God's arms, she decided, was by far the safest place she'd ever been.
Shelia Rushmore starts the novel sneaking into her ex-boyfriend’s wedding. She picks up a date on her way out, then fights with her best friend and only means of transportation. From this point on, her life goes from bad to worse. She gives out her phone number like candy to every handsome man, then dodges them once their loser side shows through. Everything would be fine, if only she could keep her sugar-daddy off her back, her brother from robbing her blind, and her so-called best friend from throwing her out on the street. A job wouldn’t hurt, either.
And yet, despite her daily frustrations, and at times, seemingly hopeless predicament, Shelia feels peace, perhaps for the first time in her life. Clinging to a faith birthed in a wedding chapel, she begins to conform her life to Scriptural truths. Although she still longs for that knight in shining armor and the white-picket fence, she finds something even more valuable—authenticity and authentic community.
Author Tia McCollors has a fresh, funny, and engaging voice, making even ordinary events intriguing. When her main character came to faith at the beginning of the novel, I thought for sure the rest of the book would be an eye-glossing flop, but Shelia was such a quirky character and Tia’s writing was so unique, I thoroughly enjoyed the novel. Shelia’s struggles with learning to live a life consistent with her new faith were realistic and kept the novel fresh. Although there wasn’t a lot of plot depth to the novel, or a major character transformation, I appreciated the author’s portrayal of a new believer. Often novels present 0 to 60 characters (sinner to saint), but life transformation usually occurs more gradually.
Reviewed by: Jennifer Slattery