Book Review: Beauty from Ashes

25 Jan

A baby was never part of Tiff’s plans. Especially not a sick baby in a NICU, struggling for life on a ventilator. 

As days in the hospital turn to weeks, Tiff grows more and more convinced that God is punishing her for turning her back on him so many years ago. Or is it possible he’s working in the midst of her daughter’s bleak prognosis to draw Tiff back to himself once more? 

The Orchard Grove Christian Women’s Fiction books are standalone literary novels about real-life believers facing real-life struggles. You won’t meet perfect saints whose lives are faultless models of the Christian faith. Instead, you’ll meet a perfect God whose plans of redemption are far more glorious than what the mortal mind could ever imagine. 


Alana Terry is a pastor’s wife, homeschooling mom, self-diagnosed chicken lady, and Christian suspense author. Her novels have won awards from Women of Faith, Book Club Network, Grace Awards, Readers’ Favorite, and more. Alana’s passion for social justice, human rights, and religious freedom shines through her writing, and her books are known for raising tough questions without preaching. She and her family live in rural Alaska where the northern lights in the winter and midnight sun in the summer make hauling water, surviving the annual mosquito apocalypse, and cleaning goat stalls in negative forty degrees worth every second.


My Impressions: 

Beauty from Ashes is standalone women’s fiction from Alana Terry. Terry never shies away from focusing on difficult issues. She has a series that is set in North Korea that exposes the desperate plight of the people, especially Christians. Told in the first person voice of a young mother, this novel looks at the depression, anxiety, and guilt involved in the care of a seriously ill child.

Tiffany “Tiff” Franklin is a self-described foster-brat. Shuffled around the system, her childhood was less than ideal. However, as a young teen she was placed with Carl and Sandy, a pastor and his wife, who instill love and discipline in Tiff’s life. But Tiff wanted independence, and when she aged-out of the system she moved on from Sandy, from Boston, from God. Utterly alone in Washington State, Tiff’s struggles become even more than she anticipated. Newly married, struggling financially and emotionally, and with a child who may never be normal, Tiff reaches out for hope.

With the first person point of view and almost all of the narrative taking place in Tiff’s thoughts, I had a hard time liking or connecting with her. One minute I felt sympathy, the next disgust. Of course, anyone listening in on my thoughts would probably have a similar reaction. 😉 And I was never sure if the other characters were accurately portrayed, or if they were tainted by Tiff’s own prejudices and opinions. I got what the author was trying to achieve with the writing style, but it went on a little longer than I would have liked. If I hadn’t agreed to review the book, I probably would have given up on it. But . . . the last of the book showed a great deal of growth in Tiff as she began to focus on Sandy’s wisdom, Grandma Lucy’s prayers and testimony, and the words God had put in her heart years before when she gave her life to Him. Relying on God didn’t really change Tiff’s circumstances — her marriage is still fragile, her child is still ill, her life is still hard — but God changed how she would react and act.

There is hope in Tiff’s life at the end and that was a good thing. Tough issues and raw emotions were handled well, but this book just didn’t do it for me. However others have really liked it. Make sure to check out the Amazon reviews. 64% are 5-stars.

Audience: adults.

To purchase this book, click HERE.

(Thanks to the author for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

2 Responses to “Book Review: Beauty from Ashes”

  1. debraemarvin January 25, 2018 at 12:23 pm #

    Looks like a compelling read!

    • rbclibrary January 26, 2018 at 9:10 am #

      Terry’s novels always touch on things that most CF doesn’t.

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