I received Confessions of X by Suzanne M. Wolfe from the Thomas Nelson and Zondervan Fiction Guild. Now I am familiar with the age-old adage to not judge a book by its cover, but I often do so anyway. This was one case where I did judge the book by its cover, and I therefore didn’t even pick it up to read it for weeks. I don’t know why, but for some reason the cover just seems (to me) to show a woman so covered in shame that she can’t raise her head, so tainted that her sins were like scarlet, as red as crimson. I’ve dealt with enough shame in my life that I didn’t really want to read a story so seemingly consumed with someone else’s. When I turned the book over to read the back of the cover, I discovered that the story was about St. Augustine’s concubine. Really? I thought to myself. Really. THIS is what the Fiction Guild sends me? What happened? They’ve done a pretty good job so far of picking stuff that I like to send to me. But this? Who would want to read a story about a concubine?
Eventually, though, I did start the book, because I had to review it. (Which I’ve since discovered isn’t required) I have to admit, it took me several more weeks to get into the story. The first 30-50 pages were riddled with paragraph-length sentences and unusual vocabulary words that made the reading tedious yet slightly poetic. But mostly tedious. Then around the 50 mark, bam! I was in love. I don’t even remember a specific event that happened to the character, but somehow, the wording became easier to read, the story started flowing, and I was hooked. And by “hooked”, I mean like hook, line, and sinker. Totally captivated. I’ve managed to tear myself away from the book–I’m a little over half way through right now–to come here and write about it. If the you’ve heard of or seen this book but the cover and/or summary has thrown you off, I suggest giving it a try anyway. So far, and I cannot speak for the rest of the book as I have not as of yet finished it, the book is fantastic. The character isn’t weighed down with shame; in fact, she’s lighthearted and free. She’s loved and she’s lost a few people along the way so far, but she’s followed her heart and kept her head held high. She’s gotten me captivated, and I dearly hope that the story doesn’t end with something that makes her hang her head the way that she is doing on the cover, because so far, this book is shaping up to be on my Top 10 list for 2016.
Thank you so much to the Thomas Nelson and Zondervan Fiction Guild for sending me this book. All opinions are my own and were not required to be positive.