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Monday, August 8, 2016

Fiction Review: Shredded

Shredded: Your Past Does Not Define You, by Kimberly Rae is a surprising find. First, for the most part, this Christian fiction about prostitution rings and childhood sexual abuse keeps it squeaky clean. You know what the prostitutes in the story do, but the author includes very little innuendo—only in one scene, and then, it’s mild. She refers to lingerie but never describes it on anyone. To me, this whole book’s writing was a marvelous feat.

Jean is a lovely young woman with a horrible secret. To deal with childhood sexual abuse, she writes her feelings on the borders of used, leftover church bulletins and then shreds them. She’s very active in her church—in charge of the children’s ministry—and every week she gets rid of the abuse and her feelings in the same way: write it down, cry, and shred it up.

There’s a new pastor at her church, a man who chooses to follow God’s way over man’s. His name is Stewart, and his brother Grant is temporarily living with him and his wife Brenda.

On Stewart’s first Sunday as pastor, an escaped prostitute heeds the altar call. She walks right up to the front, accepts Christ with another woman’s help, and then makes the startling revelation, “If this sticks, I’ll be back.” And back she is—with her arms full of lingerie she no longer wants. In the front of the church, the pastor steps on a purple lace bra, and someone goes for a trashcan. The “proper” biddies of the church are aghast! What is the new pastor doing to their church?

The head of the deacon board plots to get rid of their pastor as soon as possible--just like he got rid of the last one.

Grant befriends Jean, who’s afraid of any kind of a relationship and recoils to even the slightest casual touch.

The truly born again former prostitute Candy comes up with a scheme for rescuing other trafficked girls. The small town is abuzz, and people good and bad show their true colors.

In the Kindle version, there are a very few spelling errors and misused words. Overall, the writing is excellent, and the story certainly holds one’s attention.

The lessons in this book are wonderful: healing for the abused, justice for abusers, compassion for lost souls, and Christian outreach that includes rescuing trafficked girls. Shredded is about taking risks, stepping out of comfort zones, and the true mission of the church--reaching the lost and discipling saved people.

Because of Shredded’s subject matter, I would recommend it for older teens and adults. There are no explicit scenes or descriptions, no violence, and only one instance of innuendo—when a prostitute tries to frame the pastor in provocative photos. It’s a clean book with a lot of good lessons and the added treat of a sweet, wholesome romance. Kudos to Mrs. Rae for handling such needed subjects in a delicate way.

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