Saturday, March 2, 2024

WALKING IN TALL WEEDS by Robin W. Pearson, Reviewed by Rebecca Maney

"When Moses and Joshua and even Peter spoke to the people, they pointed to the past to remind them of God's faithfulness, not of Pharaoh's evil . . . We can't hold on to the pain. Not if we're gonna heal and do better."

Walking in tall weeds. It's a slow progression forward if you have ever actually picked up your feet and taken the trek . . . one foot in front of the other, slowly, carefully, eyes peeled for unwelcome obstructions or dangerous pitfalls. Families can often experience the same journey, and that is exactly the situation that Paulette Baldwin finds herself in . . . immersed, drowning, praying. 

Her adult son is home for a visit and she is furiously scribbling sticky notes so that she can have plenty of conversation starters . . . who does that? Her adult husband had his own agenda, always the same, pushing himself . . . work, work, work, it's the way it has always been, he's a man of tradition (with something to prove). Wasn't her sixtieth birthday weekend going to be fun . . . especially when Aunt Julia and Uncle Lawrence show up.

This is the kind of story that is going to mean different things to different people, for its cozy, illuminating layering of traditions, diversity, history, misery, and remarkable clarity bode well for these stubborn, relatable characters as they muck forward. And forward they will go (eventually) . . . walking through those "tall weeds" with better footwear, covered from head to toe in faith and forgiveness, and hearing a little of Uncle Lawrence echoing in their ears, "I refuse to spend my God-given time rectifyin' old problems when the day's gon' give me a whole heap of to-dos to handle . . . I say let the pain stay buried and enjoy the life walkin' and talkin' on this side of the dirt". Amen, Uncle Lawrence. Amen.

BackCover Blurb
From award-winning author Robin W. Pearson comes a new Southern family drama about one family who discovers their history is only skin-deep and that God’s love is the only family tie that binds.

Paulette and Fred Baldwin find themselves wading through a new season of life in Hickory Grove, North Carolina. Their only son, McKinley, now works hundreds of miles away, and the distance between the husband and wife feels even farther. When their son returns home, his visit dredges up even more conflict between Fred and Paulette.

McKinley makes it no secret that he doesn’t intend to follow in his father’s footsteps at George & Company Fine Furnishings or otherwise. Fred can’t quite bring himself to accept all his son’s choices, yet Paulette is determined McKinley will want for nothing, least of all a mother’s love and attention—which her own skin color cost her as a child. But all her striving leaves Fred on the outside looking in.

Paulette suspects McKinley and Fred are hiding something that could change the whole family. Soon, she’s facing a whirlwind she never saw coming, and the three of them must dig deep to confront the truth. Maybe then they’ll discover that their history is only skin-deep while their faith can take them right to the heart of things.

Tyndale House Publishing, July, 2022
Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover, and audiobook:

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