A Haunting Yet Beautiful Story of Unlikely Friendship

“The Solace of Water” by Elizabeth Byler Younts is the type of story that stays with you long after reaching the final page. Published by Thomas Nelson, this book is an intricate tapestry that spans a vast range of emotions, from soul-numbing grief to the hope which only the redemption of Christ can endow. Although external action is not the focus of this story, the inner worlds of the three POV characters are compelling, heart-wrenching, and at times even haunting.

“The Solace of Water” is set during the turbulent 1950s, in a small Pennsylvania town. In Sinking Creek the white, black, and Amish communities may appear to coexist as neighbors – but inside, where it counts, they are worlds apart… Until a beautiful and unlikely friendship forms between two women and a girl, from a place of grief and despair.

Themes including the power of forgiveness, finding hope in the midst of grief, the beauty of true friendship, the pain of deception, and the healing, grace, and fulfillment that can only come from Jesus, are portrayed with both beauty and suffering in this novel. To be honest, the majority of the story is a painful and sad journey, with hope and healing only being revealed at the end of a long road (and in unexpected ways). It is raw and real, sometimes ugly and inappropriate, but undoubtedly very lifelike both to the time period and to the heartache each character is enveloped in.

In a nutshell: if you are looking for a lighthearted and primarily uplifting novel, I do not recommend “The Solace of Water” as the ideal way to spend a pleasant, relaxing afternoon. However, if you are looking for a story that dives deep into pain and healing, bitterness and forgiveness, this might be just what your heart needs. In any case, “The Solace of Water” is a story that will cause us to pause and ponder, and perhaps even look deep inside at our own beliefs about the power of redemption, forgiveness, friendship, and grace.

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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