Title: The Color of Light by Emilie Richards
Goddesses Anonymous Series Book Four
Genre: Contemporary, Fiction
Length: 496 pages
Book Rating: B
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
The deeper the darkness, the brighter the light
For more than a decade minister Analiese Wagner has felt privileged to lead her parishioners along a well-lit path. Her commitment has never been seriously tested until the frigid night she encounters a homeless family huddling in the churchyard. Offering them shelter in a vacant parish house apartment and taking teenage Shiloh Fowler—a girl desperate to rescue her parents—under her wing, she tests the loyalty and faith of her congregation.
Isaiah Colburn, the Catholic priest who was her first mentor and the man she secretly longed for, understands her struggles only too well. At a crossroads, he’s suddenly reappeared in her life, torn between his priesthood and his growing desire for a future with Analiese.
Divided between love and vows they’ve taken, both must face the possibilities of living very different lives or continuing to serve their communities. With a defeated family’s trust and her own happiness on the line, Analiese must define for herself where darkness ends and light begins.
The Color of Light is another thought-provoking and poignant addition to Emilie Richards’ wonderful Goddesses Anonymous series. In this outing, minister Analiese “Ana” Wagner’s judgment is called into question when she steps in to help a homeless family. As if she does not have enough on her plate, she is surprised by the sudden reappearance of her longtime friend and mentor Father Isaiah Colburn. Although they have been out of touch for several years, they easily pick up where they left off but Ana is disconcerted by the realization that she is still in love with Isaiah. Unbeknownst to Ana, Isaiah is close to finalizing a decision that will change the course of his life. Both of them are at a crossroads that leaves each of them questioning whether they have chosen the right path and if not, what comes next for them professionally and personally?
While Ana is not having a crisis of faith, she does begin to question whether or not she wants to continue her career as a minister. She is continually butting heads with some of the church’s leadership and members of the congregation and her days are filled with putting out fires and juggling meetings. Her decision to help the Fowler family is met with resistance and Ana is frustrated by some of her parishioner’s lack of compassion for their situation. Trying to get the family some assistance is a burden she willingly takes on, but Ana is coming dangerously close to burning out as she devotes most of her time to helping others.
Isaiah is also having trouble reconciling the demands of priesthood with his personal life. He is on a sabbatical to try to decide whether or not to leave the priesthood when he reconnects with Ana. Although he is close to making a final decision about his future, both Isaiah and Ana are concerned about the effect his choice will have on the future of their relationship and their careers.
The story arc about the Fowler family is particularly heart wrenching. A job loss devastated the family and they have been trying to get back on their feet for quite some time. Much of the family’s care rests on the shoulders of fourteen year old Shiloh due to her father Man’s depression and her mother Belle’s poor health. Ana steps in to help Man find work and get Belle some much needed medical attention and as their lives finally begin to turn around, Shiloh discovers she can rely on her parents to take care of her after a traumatic incident.
The Color of Light is a very heartwarming and inspiring story. As in previous installments of the Goddesses Anonymous series, Emilie Richards raises awareness of social issues in a realistic and straightforward manner. There is also a strong spiritual element to the storyline that is quite thought-provoking. All in all, it is an absolutely delightful story that tackles some real life problems with a great deal of compassion that old and new fans are sure to love.
Read my reviews of the other books in the series HERE.