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About the BookBook title: Waiting for Butterflies
Author: Karen Sargent
Release date: April 4, 2017
Genre: Christian Women’s Fiction
When tragedy strikes, Maggie discovers a mother’s love never ends—not even when her life does. Longing for her family after her death, she returns home where she helplessly witnesses her family’s downward spiral in the aftermath of her passing.
Her husband is haunted by past mistakes and struggles to redeem himself. Her teenage daughter silently drowns in her own guilt, secretly believing she is responsible for her mother’s death. Only her five-year-old, full of innocence, can sense her presence.
Although limited by her family’s grief and lack of faith, Maggie is determined to keep a sacred promise and salvage her family before her second chance runs out.
A tender portrait of a mother whose love reaches beyond possible, Waiting for Butterflies will embrace your heart and not let go.
My ThoughtsWow! Anything I say will fall short and be woefully inadequate in describing this beautiful story that touches every emotion possible. Karen Sargent knows how to tell an evocative story and has an incredible writing ability. She writes in a character-driven, lyrical style that is not often found in Christian fiction, a style that I long for. I could hardly put it down, even knowing that I would shed tears of emotion occasionally. I hope this is just the first of many stories that readers can anticipate.
If you’ve read the description above, you might be hesitant about trying Waiting for Butterflies for a couple of reasons. First, it deals with an unpleasant topic, the death of a young mother; and secondly, the spirit of that mother “lingers” for a period of time in her family home before going to heaven. But while the topics and emotions are raw and heartbreaking, this is a redemptive, uplifting story overall. And it’s not meant to be a ghost story or a reflection of theology, but rather a moving “what if” story of a mom's love in light of family loss, guilt, grief, and healing.
Waiting for Butterflies has a huge spiritual impact. In the same way that God places ordinary people in our lives for a purpose, secondary characters impact Sam. Pastor Rob longs to witness to Sam, yet feels that God is telling him to wait. Roxy speaks of God always being at work to Sam … “We can’t see it because we don’t know what to look for. But one day you’ll look back, just like I do, and you’ll wonder how you missed it.”
The restoration of an old house is a beautiful picture of spiritual rebirth, and I loved Gary’s words to Sam …
“A gallon of paint can cover a multitude
of flaws, but it takes something mightier to cover
a man’s sin ... We’ve all sinned, but we’re blessed
that’s not how the story ends.”
I don’t think I’ll ever forget the characters and message of Waiting for Butterflies. “Best of the best” for me.
Very highly recommended.
I was provided a free e-copy of this book through Celebrate Lit. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.
About the Author
In addition to writing inspirational novels, she blogs at The MOM Journey…where moms aren’t perfect and that’s perfectly okay. Her writing has been featured in Guidepost’s Angels on Earth magazine and on ForEveryMom.com.
When she is not writing, she teaches high school and college English in the beautiful Arcadia Valley where she resides with her husband and two daughters. Visit her at www.karensargentbooks.com
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Guest Post from Karen SargentWaiting for Butterflies: The Accidental Controversy
I didn’t intend to write myself into controversy when I wrote Waiting for Butterflies. Yes, it is Christian fiction. Yes, the main character is a “lingering spirit.” And no, ghosts aren’t biblical. Thus the controversy.
As the story idea began to stir my imagination after my mother-in-law’s unexpected death, I wondered how ghosts fit into the Christian view of the afterlife, especially since I too believe our souls go to Heaven once we die. So I asked my pastor. He referred to Hebrews 11, the “Faith Hall of Fame” that lists Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, and many spiritual giants who lived by faith. That list is followed by Hebrews 12:1 which states, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses…” My pastor explained witnesses is translated by some to mean spectators. So maybe, maybe, this suggests those who have died can somehow still be present—emphasis on maybe.
But…this gave me just enough permission to play with the idea of a mother’s love being so strong that she could remain after her death until she was certain her family would heal. I was writing fiction after all.
When my manuscript was complete and I began submitting to agents, the response was mixed. Some replied with a simple, “This story isn’t for me.” Some warned, “This will be a hard sell to Christian publishers.” Yet others were more encouraging. Finally my story made it to the desk of an acquisition editor who emailed, “This is the one.” Waiting for Butterflies found a publishing home.
Now that my book is in the hands of readers, most are surprised to hear my topic is controversial. Like me, many believers haven’t really considered ghosts in a biblical context. But a few are adamant that the storyline contradicts their beliefs.
I know my story—just like every story—will not appeal to everyone. But I certainly didn’t set out to offend my fellow believers, and I sincerely apologize if anyone finds it offensive. However, I appreciate this perspective one skeptical reader shared in her review:
“While I was initially put off by the idea that a spirit can remain and interact, in a sense, with those still living, the author handled it with sensitivity and grace. We all have ideas about the unknown, but it is just that, unknown, and I could relate strongly to the thought of wanting to continue to influence and connect with loved ones after death in order to help them.”
I appreciate that in spite of the controversy, this reader gave Waiting for Butterflies a chance—and five stars.
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