This is the perfect book for teenage girls, and woman of all ages who struggle with body image or simply want to enjoy the testimony of one young woman’s transformation through Christ. Kylie shares her early years of struggling to break into a career in modeling, her encounter with the Lord and decision to become a Christian as a High School student, her life and challenges as a model, her fairy tale romance and marriage, her exciting acceptance as a Victoria’s Secret supermodel, and how the Lord transformed her heart to leave her coveted career to become a Proverbs 31 wife and role model.
Kylie expresses her own experiences and body image problems honestly and powerfully. Her behind-the-scenes details about the modeling industry bring to life the error of evaluating ourselves and others by outward appearance alone. Kylie’s message of spiritual transformation is hidden within a diary-like account of her feelings, struggles, and convictions at various personal milestones. Her descriptions of her husband’s patience and support were also really touching. As an adult woman, I was encouraged by her story, although the writing style is accessible and directed more toward a teen audience. She also includes a 30 day devotional make-over: a Bible verse, personal story, two devotional questions, and a “true beauty tip” (short sentence of encouragement) to reflect on each day. Each short exercise helps to build security and confidence of the inner beauty that God wants His daughters to radiate.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through the Tyndale Blog Network.
Genre: Historical Fiction
So Shines the Night is a fictitious rendition of Acts 18-19, and Tracy Higley does an excellent job of making these Scriptures come to life. The central character is female teacher, Daria, who escapes Rhodes by agreeing to become a tutor to Ephesian merchant, Lucas Christopoulos. But living in Ephesus is not what she imagined. She soon discovers that Lucas is involved with some dark and mysterious people. As Daria begins to uncover the mystery of her attractive employer’s strange activities, her path merges with both the local sorcerers and the followers of the Way, including the Apostle Paul, Timothy, Priscilla, Aquila, and other familiar biblical characters.
This story rightly portrays the strong spiritual battle that was particularly visible during this period as expressed in the book of Acts, including many depictions of sorcery. While the descriptions of sorcery are carefully written so that they are “just enough” to set the scene, readers who have trouble with this subject matter should probably not read the book. Having had a background in the occult pre-salvation, I did have to take a couple breaks while reading–not because the book was overly dark, but simply because certain scenes reminded me of difficult parts of my past.
That said, I really enjoyed the historical element of book, the romance, the mystery, and the beautiful way in which Higley renders her characters. The biblical characters were not as I personally imagine them, but I found it beneficial to consider them from a contrary perspective. Also, the story was actually inspired by the Temple of Artemis (Higley has written multiple novels now that set the scene around one of the seven wonders of the ancient world), and her thorough study of history shows in her writing. I have read two of her novels now, and have enjoyed them both.
I received a complimentary copy of this book as a part of the Thomas Nelson Book Review Blogging Program through booksneeze.com.