LU. by Beth Troy
GENRE: Inspirational Contemporary Fiction
PUBLISHER: Kingsbury Publishing
RELEASE DATE: June 21, 2017
“There’s great hope where the road meets the sky – maybe even an answer. But this road leads home. Just home. I thought I’d finished writing that story years ago, but then yesterday’s story happened – the one about the boy who cheats and the girl who leaves.”
Lu Sokolowski never planned to return to her small hometown of Dunlap’s Creek, but it’s the only place she can think of to go after her boyfriend cheats on her. Moving back in with her family lets her run away from her problems, but it also means suffering their attempts to reassemble her failed life, including arranging a job as the wedding beat writer at the local paper and setting her up with Jackson, the divorced pastor of her family’s church. Unexpected success and friendships restore Lu to the family and faith she’d left behind. But when the small-town life Lu never intended shakes up, will she run again?
Lu’s story is a journey of a woman back to her family, her faith, and herself. It’s about second chances and the unchosen circumstances that press the point of who we are and what we believe. Are we the sum of our successes and failures, or does our identity rest in a greater hope?
“What if Jesus is the answer?”
Oh y’all. This book. My heart is still overflowing from reading it.
SIDE NOTE: Actually, I was supposed to read & review Lu. in 2017 but as I’ve mentioned before that was the year that my life-as-i-knew-it basically imploded & I’m still catching up on books from that time. The irony does not escape me that I’m now able to catch up a little bit because life-as-we-all-knew-it has basically imploded for the whole world and I have more free time than usual. (Not only do I have this blog and JustRead Tours but I also work for a testing company, scoring the speaking exams that internationals take to attend university in the States or work for a English-speaking business. As of right now, that job is shut down for the foreseeable future as testing centers around the world are closed due to the coronavirus outbreak. SO that lets me actually get blog & JustRead stuff done before midnight… which translates into more time to READ!! A silver lining amidst all this craziness lol)
BACK TO OUR REGULARLY SCHEDULED REVIEW: I regret having to shelve my reading of Lu. until now because wow! I was missing out on one of the best debut novels I have EVER read! Pitch-perfect writing, smart & witty dialogue and first person narrative (that feels effortless), a heroine for women in all stages of life, authentic wrestling with real issues of faith, and a host of supporting characters you’ll want to pull in for a group hug along with main character Lu – you’ll find this and so much more in Troy’s novel.
I was hooked from the first sentence – “All the stories have been written, including mine.” – and couldn’t tear my eyes away until I’d read the last line. In between I experienced a wide range of emotions, from chuckling at Lu’s snark to being so moved by her spiritual journey to holding my breath from the sparks whenever she and Jackson were in the same room together to outright laughing and then outright crying. The plot progressed at a steady pace with beautiful wordsmithing and a heartfelt sincerity to the words that draws you in and refuses to let go.
To be clear, this may not be ‘comfy Christian fiction’ for some of us. Jackson, one of the pastors at Lu’s family’s church, is back at home starting over after his wife left him. Lu is a character that has been disillusioned with God for many years – and her choices reflect this. She curses on a couple of occasions (there’s even one particularly strong curse word uttered by her best friend Gracie). She’s lived with her ex-boyfriend who cheated on her, and there’s some implied passionate intimacy during a reconnection with him. But oh, my reader friends, don’t let any of those things keep you from reading this book. Because Lu’s journey toward Jesus will so touch your heart – it’s so exquisitely written and naturally-paced – and Chapter 38 simply undid me.
“I’ll never forget the moment Jesus turned. Seeing him see me is to know he’d been me … bleeding and broken for me. Because he loved me.”
Bottom Line: Lu. by Beth Troy is one of the best debut novels I’ve ever read. In turns witty and sincere, snarky and heartfelt, it is a study in brokenness and redemption. Lu is a layered and engaging protagonist, as are the rest of her vividly-drawn family. I laughed and grinned a lot through this story – and I found myself choked up and teary on more than one occasion too. And let me just say … the ending … I can’t wait for the sequel to see where the author takes Lu’s – and Jackson’s – stories from here. Lu isn’t the same Lu at the end of this book as she was at the beginning of the book… and neither am I the same. Highly recommended!
(I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book which I read with Kindle Unlimited. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)
My Rating: 5 stars / in a class by itself
KissingBook Level: 3 / may forget to breathe on occasion
amazon affiliate link used
Also available to read for FREE with Kindle Unlimited
When not teaching, she spends her time writing. Her first novel is Lu, a sequel to which is being released in Summer 2020. She writes what she believes and asks questions that aim to spark debate and positive changes in her readers.
Beth lives in Ohio with her husband and three sons.
Beth Troy is offering a signed, print copy of Lu to one of my readers! (US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.
What about you? What interests you most about Lu by Beth Troy?