Friday, May 6, 2016

Review: Orange Jumpsuit: Letters to the God of Freedom by Tara Leigh Cobble

Synopsis: New York City moved at the pace of my heart. Everything fit. Then came a familiar, unmistakable nudge – God was calling me to leave the sparkle and comfort of Manhattan to put down roots in small-town South Carolina. Leaving behind the city I adored for a town that surprised me first with love, and then with heartache, it felt like God was stripping me of everything. It felt like wrath I began to wonder if I had heard Him right. Had I ever heard Him? Did I even know Him at all? This is a story of letting go, of choosing. Through the crushing blows of sanctification, the loss of my “home,” the end of relationships, and the betrayal of friends, I was forced to look at the darkness of my own heart. Will I walk away from Him? Or will I learn instead to walk in freedom from the fears that imprison me? This is a love story. But it’s no fairytale. Or maybe, it is. (from the back of the book)

Review: This is the third and last in Cobble's The Letters Trilogy. The premise of this one is my favorite - the idea that we are a prisoner take to the court of the King, given a place at his table and in his house - and yet, we insist on wearing our prison garb, our "orange jumpsuit". This metaphor so clearly illustrates how most of us live life.
In this installment of the trilogy, Cobble writes about her move from New York City to a small town in South Carolina. Unlike her move to NYC, the move to South Carolina wasn't something she wanted. It was the opposite. And yet, she knew God was leading her and obeyed.
The best part of this book was the portion where she spoke about not hearing God's voice, and the devastation it caused in her heart. Beset by doubt and hopelessness, she fought to reclaim what she had once known about God. It was powerful to read.
Unfortunately, that portion was overshadowed by the endless prattle about her romantic relationships. In her previous two books, there was a balance, but in this one, so much of the prose was given over to this person. It is worth mentioning, of course, that it was the catalyst for much of her growth. But it got tedious to read chapter after chapter. And it is the unromantic cynic in me, but several time, she rekindled her relationship with the person when anyone with two brain cells could see he was no good.
In the end, I would recommend this book, even given the above comments. I have, more than a few times, been told I have a heart of ice when it comes to romance. So I am apt to be harsher on people who are romantic than most. Read her work, by all means. She writes well and writes wisdom worth having.

Bookmarks: 6 of 10

Awards: None

ISBN: 978-0-9837850-2-6
Year Published: 2011
Date Finished: 4-21-2016
Pages: 217

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