Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Review: Splitting Harriet

Ever feel like it takes a whole lot of effort to keep your life firmly under control? Do you struggle to maintain an appearance of godliness that reflects to those around you the measure of the faith that you hold in your heart?

This is the life of Harriet, the heroine in Tamara Leigh's latest chick-lit novel, Splitting Harriet. Once an unabashedly good-girl-gone bad who reveled in her status as The Fun One, Harriet has repented of her devil may care days and has returned to the church her father leads as a Women's Director in good standing. Harriet seems to have achieved the perfect Christian life, until God throws a wrench into her plans and shows her that HIS plans don't fit in anyone's box.

Written with the same self-depreciating, conspiratorial tone that made
Bridget Jones' Diary such a hoot, Splitting Harriet pulls off the difficult task of keeping the reader firmly in the head of the narrator, while allowing the freedom to see things from an outside perspective. When Harriet passes judgement, there's enough detail from "the other side" that you can call her plays into question without losing your loyalty to her as a character.

Splitting Harriet offers up only a handful of surprises--mostly of the "I see myself in that" variety for the average Christian woman--it is a fun romp of a read that explores some fairly deep questions rarely given voice to: how do we define ourselves? What makes a Christian woman Christian? Are tattoos and nose rings the modern versions of stumbling blocks for our fellow believers? Would any self-respecting Christian drive a motorcycle? And, last but not least, is it o.k. to have fun, and still love Jesus?

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