Book Review: Of Stillness And Storm

16 Dec

of-stillness-and-stormIt took Lauren and her husband ten years to achieve their dream—reaching primitive tribes in remote regions of Nepal. But while Sam treks into the Himalayas for weeks at a time, finding passion and purpose in his work among the needy, Lauren and Ryan stay behind, their daily reality more taxing than inspiring. For them, what started as a calling begins to feel like the family’s undoing.

At the peak of her isolation and disillusion, a friend from Lauren’s past enters her life again. But as her communication with Aidan intensifies, so does the tension of coping with the present while reengaging with the past. It’s thirteen-year-old Ryan who most keenly bears the brunt of her distraction.

Intimate and bold, Of Stillness and Storm weaves profound dilemmas into a tale of troubled love and honorable intentions gone awry.


mphoenix-406Born in France to a Canadian father and an American mother, Michèle Phoenix is a consultant, writer and speaker with a heart for Third Culture Kids. She taught for 20 years at Black Forest Academy (Germany) before launching her own advocacy venture under Global Outreach Mission. Michèle travels globally to consult and teach on topics related to this unique people group. She loves good conversations, mischievous students, Marvel movies and paths to healing.

Find out more about Michèle at


My Impressions:

Of Stillness And Storm is a difficult book — a book that is filled with hard things. Hard things beautifully expressed. There is much loss and sorrow and despair in Michele Phoenix’s book, but also a glimmer of hope and love that transcends the failings of men. This book is about relationships and would be a wonderful addition to a book club’s list. There is so much to talk about.

Lauren, Sam and Ryan are a family of three living in Nepal. As Sam brings God’s word to remote villages, Lauren and Sam struggle to survive the power outages, unrest, pollution and utter foreignness of Kathmandu. Called to live among its people, Nepal seems to require more than they can give. But is it God or Nepal that demands so much? Or a vision that is man-centered?

Of Stillness And Storm is told in Lauren’s first person voice. Present day events are set against past recollections allowing the reader to see the path that has led to the circumstances the family faces. Sam is remote, not really present in his family even when he returns from the field. Ryan is angry, more angry than a typical teenager. And Lauren tries to hold it all together, even as she slips into a forgotten life a world away. While the reader could spend time examining the wisdom of mission work or the toll it takes on the family, it is really the family’s own choices, not the purposes of God that impact this story. The family portrayed could live next door . . . or in your own home. As I stated above, this book is beautifully written. The language is exquisite and almost painful as it reveals sorrow and loss. The ending is not what I would have wanted; no fairy tale endings here. But it is gritty and above all real.

For those who want a book to challenge and expand their thinking, Of Stillness And Storm is a good choice. Not a quick or happy read, it is a recommended one.

Highly Recommended.

Great for book clubs.

Audience: adults.

To purchase this book, click HERE.

(Thanks to LitFuse and Thomas Nelson for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)



Take Michèle Phoenix’s new book with you on your winter vacation and enter to win her Bookworm On-the-Go Prize Pack (because you can’t take a stack of books with you when you travel).

One grand prize winner will receive:
A copy of Of Stillness and Storm
A Kindle Fire tablet
A Kindle Fire map cover
A passport holder
Enter today by clicking HERE, but hurry! The giveaway ends on December 31. The winner will be announced January 3 on Michèle’s blog.

8 Responses to “Book Review: Of Stillness And Storm”

  1. Barbara H. December 16, 2016 at 10:52 am #

    This sounds intriguing. You don’t see many novels concerning missionaries, and I’m sure the author’s experience lends authenticity.

    • rbclibrary December 16, 2016 at 12:30 pm #

      It is not really a “missionary” novel, although the characters are missionaries. It is more the relationships that they have. Although the missions experience certainly plays a part in the situation. In the afterward, Phoenix describes her concerns for MKs.

  2. Carrie December 17, 2016 at 10:43 am #

    “Hard things beautifully expressed.” – yes.

    • rbclibrary December 17, 2016 at 11:47 am #

      I wanted to jump into the pages and warn Lauren. There just seemed something essential missing from Sam. This is the first book I have read by Phoenix. I look forward to many more!

      • Carrie December 17, 2016 at 11:49 am #

        YES! a great observation. I wanted to jump into the pages and shake Sam 😉

      • rbclibrary December 17, 2016 at 9:40 pm #

        I didn’t like him from the beginning. 😉


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