Engaging. Believable. Personal and Uplifting. These are some of the words I would use to describe Neta Jackson’s book, Who is My Shelter? An offshoot from her wildly popular The Yada Yada Prayer Group series, the House of Hope series stands strong on its own accord. With the characters you know and love from the Yada Yada series sprinkled throughout the story line, a former Neta reader gets just enough familiarity to help you feel comfortable but not so much that you feel you’ve “been down this road before”.
I received Who Is My Shelter? through the BookSneeze program with Thomas Nelson publishing. Why they choose to put out book #4 in the series and not #1 is a bit unclear, but fortunately this book gave enough background information to keep the reader from feeling lost as the story line progressed. Though I hadn’t read any of the other books, I could easily get into the swing of things, relating effortlessly with the characters at hand. By the end of the book, though, I’ll admit I was very curious to get the “full story” of Gabby Fairbanks, the protagonist in this series, and will probably scoop up numbers 1-3 soon.
Author Neta Jackson has a captivating way of weaving faith into her story lines, allowing the reader to struggle along with the characters during hard time and rejoice during good times. Though faith is not as strong of a theme in this series as in the Yada Yada series, it still plays a key role in many of the character’s lives.
There were a few disappointments as I read along. For example, I was disheartened about Gabby’s choice to date another man while still married, even though she and her husband were separated. We see so much of this “romantizing of the affair” in pop culture, I hated to see it seep into Christian fiction as well. I also expected to hear a bit more from the Yada Yada ladies, but they were more like secondary characters at best. After falling in love with the ladies while reading the original series, I was looking forward to “staying caught up on their lives” (yes, I know it’s fiction!). However, the characters in this series are just as endearing and I quickly grew interested in their stories as well.
As usual, Neta Jackson did not disappoint. Not normally a fan of fiction, I would read one of her books anytime.