Have you ever been angry with God? Oh, you might not call it that. It seems like depression, a touch of ennui, or maybe an irritableness that you just can’t shake. Everything is going wrong. Your dishwasher breaks and spews water all over the floor, your neighbor’s dog keeps pooping in your yard, your bank balance is in double digits, and just yesterday, your doctor said there is something suspicious on a scan.
Then at church the pastor speaks on giving thanks in everything. Seriously?
In my new novel, The Shenandoah Road: A Novel of the Great Awakening, one of my characters begins to slog through this kind of mire. Don’t get me wrong: he’s a strong Christian, but his circumstances pull at him. First one thing, then another, and pretty soon he’s not sure if he even wants to get things right with God.
Hasn’t he suffered enough?
John crossed to the next tree, a massive pine. The sharp, clean scent caused him to pause, as if inhaling the aroma might somehow cleanse him on the inside.
He felt dirty.
He stretched out his hands to finger the bark, tracing the wide scales with his fingers. Yes, a longleaf pine—Abigail would want this for her book. Such a strange pattern. All trees had bark that cracked—or even peeled—in ridges or grooves; this one felt more like tiny plates.
And every year the tree would grow, and the bark would break some more, sap rising to heal the wounds. Hence the piney smell—the smell of brokenness. John laid his forehead on the tree, feeling broken himself.
Was this the way of all things under the sun? Grow … and break?
Oh God … out of the depths I cry to Thee …
Maybe he wasn’t growing. Maybe it was just sin. The filth of his murderous temper.
Create in me a clean heart, O God …
He collapsed and found himself kneeling in a thick bed of long pine needles, his shoulders shuddering and heaving. No tears would come, only this shaking and gasping, like an ague that had taken him unawares.
It wasn’t just his temper. It wasn’t just his anger toward Sloan or Roy.
He was angry with God.
Find out what happens next as John and Abigail travel to the valley. The Shenandoah Road is available in print via multiple booksellers and also through kindle.
Link to buy: https://www.amazon.com/
Back cover copy TSR
John Russell’s heart aches from the loss of his wife, but the Shenandoah Valley frontiersman needs to marry again for his daughter’s sake. At first he believes he has found the right young woman, despite their differences in background, but his faith falters when time reveals she isn’t quite what she seemed. Can he truly love her? And what about his own failings?
Unlike her disgraced sister, Abigail Williams obeys the Commandments. At least, she thinks herself a Christian until a buckskin-clad newcomer courts her. He treats her kindly but also introduces her to a sermon by the controversial preacher, George Whitefield. Her self-righteousness is shattered, and she wonders about their relationship. If she confesses her lack of faith, will John continue to love her?
“Lynne Tagawa transports readers into the faith and hope, and sorrows and fears of 18th century colonial America. While other books feature the raw grit of frontier colonial life, this book goes deeper and reveals the heart.” —Douglas Bond, author of numerous books, including War in the Wasteland and Hostage Lands.
“The Shenandoah Road is an authentic and engaging journey back to the challenges of settling in the Shenandoah Valley” —Laura Hilton, author of Firestorm (Whitaker House, 2018)
“Raw, realistic, and historically packed, this story will make you think. If you enjoy stories with deep theological themes, you will enjoy this.” —Amber Schamel, author of Solve by Christmas, winner of the 2018 Christian Indie Award
Lynne Tagawa, author of Sam Houston’s Republic and A Twisted Strand, lives in Texas with her husband.
Bio: Lynne Tagawa
Lynne Tagawa is married with four grown sons and three marvelous grandbabies. She’s written a Texas history curriculum in narrative form, Sam Houston’s Republic, and The Shenandoah Road, a story of the Great Awakening,is scheduled to be published in 2018. Lynne lives with her husband in South Texas.