Review of The Devil in Pew Number Seven by Rebecca Nichols Alonzo with Bob DeMoss

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Genre: Memoir/True Crime/Christian Life

Recommended.

Even when faced with terrifying threats, physical attacks, and the impending harm upon their family, Rebecca’s parent’s, Robert and Ramona Nichols, refused to step outside of God’s will by fleeing the community and church to which they had been called. Their bravery cost their family almost everything; but as Rebecca shares of the events surrounding the ultimate moments of tragedy in her young life, she also shares how the love of Jesus exuded by her parents transformed her life into one of unconditional love and forgiveness–even for her enemies. Her comments toward the end of the story regarding forgiveness are especially powerful, and her testimony of hurt and forgiveness are worth reading and repeating.

From a literary perspective, I unfortunately did not enjoy the story as much. It is such an amazing testimony, and yet, structurally, it did not come together as cohesively as I think it could have. The story hinges on one villain (“the devil in pew number seven”) and one climatic moment of loss and tragedy–except that these are actually completely separate events; only in the epilogue does Rebecca reveal a small connection between the two. A lot of the story, consequently, felt scattered to me–still heartfelt storytelling, but unfocused and giving too many irrelevant details. I recommend this book to other readers based on it’s content, but only with the disclaimer that it is slow, unfocused, and in-cohesive–a bit of patience is needed to hear the wisdom between the lines.

I received a complimentary copy of this book through the Tyndale Blog Network.

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