All Faith Harp wants is a quiet life–to take care of her troubled brother, Sam, earn enough money to stop the poverty wolves snapping at her heels, and to keep her past buried as deep as possible. And after years of upheaval, she might have just about managed it: Sam’s latest treatment seems to actually be working, Faith is holding down a job, and she’s engaged to the gorgeous and successful Perry. But, for Faith, things never seem to stay simple for long. Her domineering mother-in-law-to-be is planning a nightmare wedding, including the wedding dress from hell. And the man who killed her mother is released from prison, sending her brother tumbling back into mental illness.
When secretly planning the wedding she really wants, Faith stumbles across a church choir that challenges far more than her ability to hold a tune. She ends up joining the choir, led by the fierce choir-mistress Hester, who is determined to do whatever it takes to turn the group of ragtag women into something spectacular. She also meets Dylan, the church’s vicar, who is different than any man she has ever met before . . .
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
PUBLISHER: Lion Fiction
RELEASE DATE: September 27, 2016
“Faith Harp is the name I call myself, but it is not my name.”
The Name I Call Myself is not at all what I expected. It was so much more. I thought it would be a light romantic comedy (I’m not sure why… maybe the whimsical cover), and while there are certainly lighter moments that lean toward the romcom spectrum, this novel is much less chick lit and much more women’s fiction. In the best possible ways.
But…umm… before I talk about the parts that AREN’T romantical… I must must MUST mention Dylan and the chemistry between him and Faith. Whew. Good gracious. Keep a fan handy. And set your phone alarm with frequent reminders to breathe. Because the electricity between Dylan and Faith starts as a friendship and also comes with a side of “off limits” which adds a heaping portion of conflicted agony to the mix … which makes for some fantastic slow-burn sizzle. I’m just sayin’
Now for the rest of the story, so to speak lol.
The Name I Call Myself reaches in to the heart of every woman and exposes our deepest wounds, but it does so with much grace, at the same time inspiring strength and courage and celebrating the beauty of friendship. It casts a spotlight on domestic abuse, mental illness, substance addiction, insecurity, and the pressures that go hand in hand with being a woman. But in between these scenes that break your heart, there is life and love and laughter to soothe the wound and to remind us that there IS joy as well as hope to be found even when the world seems its darkest and most frightening.
The cast of characters tromping through this novel are quirky and endearing and lifelike. Particularly the choir that Faith rather stumbles into. This choir is the heart of the novel, to be sure – a ragtag group of women from all walks of life, with all manner of history and insecurity and hidden scars. Their fearless leader Hester is a force to be reckoned with, but in one scene in particular – one brief sentence really – she had me completely in her corner even as my eyes filled with tears.
Bottom Line: The Name I Call Myself is a book of great heart, of much courage, of subtle faith, and of true love. It is one that will linger with you after you’ve reached the end, and you’ll find yourself thinking about these characters beyond your tenure with the book itself. It took me a couple of chapters to really get into the story, but I’m so very glad I pressed on. Any woman who has ever felt alone in the world, confused by her situation, or overwhelmed by life needs to read this book!
(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book from this publisher. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)
My Rating: 4 stars / Loved it!
KissingBook Level: 3+ / set that alarm to remind yourself to breathe
Beth Moran has a background as a research scientist and adult educator. She now concentrates on church work and is part of the national leadership team of the UK women’s network Free Range Chicks. She is married with three children and lives in Nottingham, England.
More Books by Beth Moran
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