Title: One Sunday by Carrie Gerlach Cecil
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Imprint: Howard Books
Genre: Contemporary, Christian, Fiction
Length: 288 pages
Book Rating: B
Review Copy Obtained from Publisher Through NetGalley
In this humorous and heartfelt novel, a beleaguered young woman must shed her career, identity, and power persona to learn how to love and forgive herself, others, and God.
At age thirty-seven, Alice Ferguson has everything an ambitious, intellectual, self-made woman could want. She has captured a career as an editor of a tabloid magazine, launched her own website full of Hollywood gossip, and even clawed her way into a second-hand pair of Prada shoes. She has also finally landed a husband—no small feat, as it required getting pregnant with his baby.
But when Alice becomes pregnant and experiences health problems, her world is turned upside down. To save her life and the life of her unborn child, she must leave Los Angeles and the stress of her bicoastal career, exchanging the late-night parties of sunny California for the suburbs of Nashville. With a weak smile and an even weaker heart, she soon finds herself living with a husband she barely knows, ensconced in a gated community brimming with perky, plastic, pony-tailed housewives. And then, at the gentle urging of a new friend, she agrees to attend church one Sunday afternoon.
What begins as an experiment beyond her comfort zone sparks something much bigger, as Alice begins to look deep within herself only to find insecurity, fear, and loneliness. One Sunday charts an endearing character’s journey from moral ambiguity through madness, tears, laughter, and heartbreak to a connection with the only One who can help heal her.
Carrie Gerlach Cecil’s One Sunday is a compelling journey of faith, hope and forgiveness. Alice Ferguson’s unexpected pregnancy takes her from glitzy L.A. to Nashville. She gains much more than a family when she becomes good friends with her neighbors, Evangelical minister Tim Jackson and his wife LaChelle.
An expert at running away from her problems and self-medicating with booze and drugs, Alice Ferguson has been living a faithless and self-destructive life since she was a teenager. Alice’s once normal and happy childhood came to an abrupt end when her mother died from cancer. Soon after, Alice’s life becomes a nightmare of abuse and neglect as her father turns to alcohol in the wake of his wife’s death. Following her high school graduation, Alice reinvents herself and finds success as a journalist then as a tabloid reporter.
Alice’s one night stand with successful doctor Burton Banister soon becomes her salvation. Her new life in the suburbs is a world away from the shallow world of tabloid journalism and her new friendship with the Jacksons takes her into the bosom of a loving family whose faith in God is absolute. Tim challenges Alice’s long held beliefs and in turn, Alice demands answers for some very difficult questions about God, forgiveness and faith.
Most of One Sunday is told in first person from Alice’s point of view. Current events in Alice’s life spark memories of her past and through flashbacks, Alice reflects on key events of her rather sordid life. With Tim and LaChelle’s gentle guidance, Alice learns the answer to her most important question: is there any sin that God will not forgive? She also discovers that asking God for forgiveness is much easier than forgiving herself for her past mistakes.
One Sunday is a beautifully written novel that will resonate with anyone who has ever had a crisis of faith. Carrie Gerlach Cecil has written a wonderful story of hope, love and acceptance that is quite moving and thought-provoking. An absolutely fascinating work of Christian fiction that I highly recommend.