I’m glad I picked up Long Time Coming from the Abingdon Press table at the ACFW conference this past fall. I read the book over Christmas break, and I hope its imprint will remain on my heart.
It’s the story of two women, Kenisha and Deirdre, who live very different lives on the socioeconomic scale, but whose personal heartaches and struggles bring them together. It is a book that doesn’t shy away from the ugliness life can hold, and some parts made me struggle with “why”—why, Lord, do You let such horrific things happen to people, to children? For I know that, while this particular story is fiction, much of what the characters go through (and had gone through) is true…is even happening right now.
But it also reminded me that, while it may seem a “long time coming,” God is still good. He is ready and willing and able to bring healing, restoration, and wholeness, if we come to Him. And someday…maybe on earth, maybe in heaven…He will make things right for His children, despite the mess sin has made in this world.
From the prologue and first chapter, I cared about Deirdre and Kenisha and was caught up into their stories. I loved the characterizations of the children, Jamal, Diamond, and Kennedy—I could just see them. I learned more about African-American culture through the book as well. While sometimes I felt the author was “telling” the character’s emotions and motivations unnecessarily, it did not disrupt my enjoyment of or engrossment in the story as that often does. Perhaps it was because Miller didn’t tell instead of showing—she just sometimes did both, which may merely be her style. Or perhaps it’s because sometimes rules can be broken when the overall effect accomplishes what every story should—in Randy Ingermanson’s words, a “Powerful Emotional Experience.”
Long Time Coming did—at the end, I put the book down and cried.
I hope to read more of Vanessa Miller’s novels, and I’d encourage you to keep an eye out for them as well. Be ready for your faith to be challenged and your heart to be touched.
I hadn’t seen this book, Kiersti, so thanks for sharing. Maybe our book club will read it.
Oh, I think it would be a good one for a book club–lend itself well to discussion. I think discussion questions are even included!