Mary Lynn and Jackson Scoville have worked hard to make their way into the company and approval of Charleston's elite, as well as give their three girls a life filled with opportunities and privilege. Mary Lynn has recently returned to the faith of her childhood, and she now longs for her husband to know God. When she asks for prayer for her husband during a church service, she has no idea that her hard work towards social status is about to get rearranged! When Jackson embraces his new found faith, he's ready to go all out! He starts befriending the homeless who wander the streets in Charleston, and begins to evangelize to the town, embarrassing Mary Lynn and their girls. Will Mary Lynn be able to handle her husband's radical faith, or is this just a glimpse of the rocky lifetime ahead of her?
I have to say that I loved Sunrise on the Battery for so many reasons. First, it introduces my beautiful Charleston and paints a perfect picture of the city's very southern and very elegant traditional lifestyle.
Second, the author presents the purpose of every Christian in a way that shows the radical faith we should have, while doing it in an almost humorous and ironic manner.
As a Charleston native, I actually cracked up when I read the premise of this book. Why? Because the very conflict let me know I'd be in for a ride!
The first portion of the book does seem to be a bit slow as it fills with more back-story, narration and description than any immediate scenes. None of these bog the story down or make it boring, though. In fact, I feel like these elements are important to help build up to the coming conflict in the story.
You see, Charleston is a unique culture in itself, but the elite and current high-society who reside in Charleston is another sub-culture entirely. Beth Webb Hart has done an excellent job in giving readers an intriguing first-hand look at the exclusive culture that belongs to Charleston's high-society. I've strolled down the Battery many-a-time and stared at the houses, knowing lifestyles of the owners were very different than mine.
The Christmas scene at St. Phillip's Church, is in my opinion, filled with exquisite description and detail of how we decorate for the season. I absolutely loved this scene!
Again, I have to say I love the premise of this story. The faith element is so strong and wonderful--especially since these are the subjects I've been studying myself . . . and even wondering for months now what I can do to impact my beautiful Charleston for Christ.
For those who enjoy studying the Radical series by David Platt, you will love Sunrise on the Battery. For those who enjoy reading about Charleston, you too, will love this book. And for those who enjoy both, you will devour this charming tale!
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher, Thomas Nelson, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.
About the Author
Beth Webb Hart, a South Carolina native, holds a B.A. in English Literature from Hollins College and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Sarah Lawrence College. Her first novel, Grace at Low Tide, was one of three finalists for the 2006 Christy Awards in the general/contemporary/fiction category. She lectures on a variety of topics and has taught creative writing on the college and high school level where she received two national awards from Scholastic, Inc. Beth Webb lives with her husband, composer Edward Hart, and their daughter in Charleston, South Carolina where she serves as a writer-in-residence at Ashley Hall.
Available from Thomas Nelson Publishers in eBook and print formats, October, 2011.