Title: Southern Fried Sushi by Jennifer Rogers Spinola
Southern Fried Sushi Series Book One
Publisher: Barbour Publishing, Inc
Genre: Inspirational, Fiction, Contemporary
Length: 384 pages
Book Rating: B
Review Copy Obtained from Publisher Through NetGalley
Ride the rollercoaster of Shiloh Jacobs’s life as her dreams derail, sending her on a downward spiral from the heights of an AP job in Tokyo to penniless in rural Virginia. Trapped in a world so foreign to her sensibilities and surrounded by a quirky group of friends, will she break through her hardened prejudices before she loses those who want to help her? Can she find the key to what changed her estranged mother’s life so powerfully before her death that she became a different woman—and can it help Shiloh too?
Jennifer Rogers Spinola’s debut novel Southern Fried Sushi is a delightful story about finding faith, friendship and ultimately, forgiveness. Shiloh Jacobs’ return to the States to attend her mother’s funeral and settle her estate proves to be a turning point in her life. In rural Virginia, Shiloh discovers the true meaning of Southern hospitality when perfect strangers generously and selflessly open their hearts and homes to her.
A dysfunctional and often neglectful childhood culminates in a long standing estrangement between Shiloh and her mother. Rejecting her mother’s attempts to mend their strained relationship, Shiloh maintains both an emotional and physical distance as she builds a new life as an AP reporter in Tokyo. Shiloh’s arrival in Staunton, Virginia is a tremendous culture shock for the sophisticated and career oriented young woman. She discovers her mother’s dramatic transformation from the depressed and rather flaky mom of her childhood to a woman who had finally found peace, happiness and a deep faith in God.
Confronted by the Christian beliefs and values of her newfound friends, Shiloh attempts to understand their unwavering faith in God. Her simplistic view that all prayers should be answered is challenged as she witnesses her friends’ struggles with heartbreaking losses. She learns many valuable lessons in the importance of forgiveness, and she slowly opens her heart to God and invites Him into her life.
Southern Fried Sushi is a beautifully written novel with a vibrant and colorful cast of characters. The Christian faith is exquisitely demonstrated through heartwarming friendships, people who trust God in all circumstances of their lives, and the true meaning of forgiveness.
Jennifer Rogers Spinola is a powerful new voice in Christian fiction. I am eagerly anticipating Like Sweet Potato Pie the second novel in the Shiloh Jacobs trilogy.
This review was originally posted on The Reader’s Roundtable.