A Modern Day Fairy Tale

Faith. Family. Fiction. Fun.

Unbound {A Book Review}

**I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author for consideration. All thoughts are 100% my own. 

Ruthie Adrian loves ranch life with her handsome husband, Mac and his family. But her fading hope for a child dissolves when Mac is killed in a crash along with his brother and father.

Added to their heartbreak, Ruthie and her mother-in-law, Naomi now face rejection by her sister-in-law, and impossible barriers as they try to protect their land.

Jake, a self-styled prophet steps up with a bizarre offer. A Godsend or a trap?

With raw grief, unexpected humour, and life-giving grace, Unbound is a modern twist on a timeless tale of the unique bond between two widows who harbour a few secrets of their own.

 In a fit of optimism at age eleven, Eleanor Bertin began her first novel by numbering a stack of 100 pages. Two of them got filled.

     Eleanor holds a college diploma in Communications and worked in agriculture journalism until the birth of her first child. The family eventually grew to include seven children, all girls except six.

Writing was crowded out by homeschooling a houseful for 25 years until Lifelines, her first completed novel, was shortlisted in the 2015 Word Alive Free Publishing Contest.

     Eleanor and her husband live with their youngest son, who has Down syndrome, amidst the ongoing renovation of a century home in central Alberta. She blogs about a sometimes elusive contentment at jewelofcontentment.wordpress.com

This was the first book I had ever had the opportunity to read from Eleanor Bertin, and based on the description alone I wasn't quite sure what to expect. Still, I had enjoyed the previous novel in The Mosaic Collection (a collection of stand alone novels from various Christian authors), so I looked forward to reading the rest of them too. Unbound was not a disappointment in the least.

How many times have we heard it said that the stories in the Bible- despite their unfamiliar settings and times- are relevant to our lives still today? Oftentimes that can be really difficult to see- what with how different things are then versus now. Unbound gives us a prime example of that with it's fictionalized modern day take on the story of Ruth and Naomi. Now, I'll admit despite the names and the similar circumstances it took me a bit to catch on that this was what it was. The author did such a great job of creating these intricate characters with their histories and flaws that it felt completely new and fresh...and truly, it was.

While it was certainly a story of grace and faith, it wasn't a particularly lighthearted read. It deals with the heavy topic of grief--- showing how we all react differently to the circumstances. There is also much talk about miscarriage, infertility and abortion. In addition to these primary characters, we are introduced to Naomi's brother in law- a self proclaimed prophet who held to what seemed to me to be some rather cult-like/extremists beliefs. It was interesting to see the contrast between his legalistic views and the damage they had on those around him, compared to the true grace of God.

Overall, this was a really intriguing story full of twists and turns that kept me hanging on through the very end. I will say I did feel like the end felt a little bit rushed and I would have liked to see that done a little differently, or to have seen more on how it all played out, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. It is a beautiful story of faith and family unlike any I've read before. I look forward to seeing more from this author.


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