I was struck deeply with conviction as I read Beth Webb Hart’s latest novel, Sunrise on the Battery. It arrived on my doorstep the day before a series of conversations was to start with my husband about serving God and what that truly looked like in our lives. A week later, I started reading Sunrise on the Battery and I had to finish it that day.
Jackson and Mary Lynn Scoville live a perfect life in their perfect home in Charleston with their perfect kids. Or so the world believes. But things are not so perfect on the inside. In fact, the pain and discontentment festering seems to get larger and larger by the day, while remaining unknown and unnoticed by the family members.
Until Jackson one day is changed. His blinders are taken off and he changes. He begins to thirst for God in a way that makes others uncomfortable, especially his wife and children. His actions cause the family’s social status to plummet and their world seems to be imploding.
And that’s all I’ll say about the plot. You’ll have to read it to find out what happens. But here’s what happened to me while reading it. I was so incredibly convicted by my own reactions. I felt for Mary Lynn as Jackson was “losing it” and losing the social status their family had craved and worked diligently for. And then I realized that I so often am cringing when my wonderful husband is loving and serving God in the all out, no holds barred way that he does. And I don’t want to cringe. I want to support. And I want to love God deeper. And in our lives, I think that means acting in ways different than the American Christian culture expects. I think God is asking us to really love and serve him by loving and serving all people, and for me, this book reminded me that that is how I want to live my life.
This novel was much more than a novel to me. Thanks, Beth Webb Hart, for the way you write fiction that changes hearts! Thank you, Thomas Nelson, for the complimentary review copy of Sunrise on the Battery. I so enjoyed it.