I have mixed feelings about New Beginnings Book 1: Knocking. It is not the kind of story I normally read, but the premise sounded interesting. It is about seven elderly ladies who start a church and the opposition and challenges they face. My preconceived ideas ran along the lines of In His Steps with perhaps opposition from local pastors and/or church members and the community. It turned out I was wrong. Never judge a book by its promotional copy. Nevertheless, it was an interesting story was kept me going to find out how it ended.
Knocking is told through the eyes of several different characters. This is a difficult task, but Robin Merrill manages it excellently by beginning each different viewpoint as a new chapter with the character’s name as the title. In that way, we can follow the story without becoming confused.
The story begins with seven elderly ladies who are severely disappointed when the church they have attended for most of their lives shuts down. So they do set out to start a church of their own. Most of the action of the story is not about them, however. The young teen daughter, Emma, of a local pastor, learns a family secret that shatters her family. The horrible secret cannot be contained, and soon, her father’s job is on the line. While her mother determines to be a good wife and stand by her husband, Emma finds refuge with a reclusive neighbour.
While it was an interesting story, I had a hard time accepting Emma’s actions as realistic for a young teenager in her situation. She seems to be more mature and responsible than her mother. There are good points made throughout the story, but also several things that did not ring true. Of course, that could just be my perception of things. If you like this kind of story, give it a read and then enter your perspective in the comments. I would be interested to know your thoughts.