"A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver." Proverbs 25:11

Friday, January 27, 2012


She wanted her husband to attend the town’s society-driven church. God answered her prayer in a radical way.

An emptiness dogs Mary Lynn Scoville. But it shouldn’t.
After all, she’s achieved what few believed possible. Born in the rural south, she has reached the pinnacle of worldly success in Charleston, South Carolina. Married to a handsome real estate developer and mother to three accomplished daughters, Mary Lynn is one Debutante Society invitation away from truly having it all.

And yet, it remains—an emptiness that no shopping trip, European vacation, or social calendar can fill.

When a surprise encounter leads her to newfound faith, Mary Lynn longs to share it with her husband. But Jackson wrote God off long ago.

Mary Lynn prays for him on Christmas Eve . . . and her husband undergoes a life-altering Damascus Road experience. As Jackson begins to take the implications of the Gospel literally, Mary Lynn feels increasingly isolated from her husband . . . and betrayed by God. She only wanted Jackson beside her at church on Sunday mornings, not some Jesus freak who evangelizes prostitutes and invites the homeless to tea.

While her husband commits social suicide and the life they worked so hard for crumbles around them, Mary Lynn wonders if their marriage can survive. Or if perhaps there really is a more abundant life that Jackson has discovered, richer than any she’s ever dreamed of.

Read an excerpt from the book here


Having grown up in a large family with no social standing other than my father was a blue collar worker, I could kind of understand why Lynn and her husband Jackson wanted the best for their children. I too wanted the best for my child. So I worked hard, taught her the value of the dollar, the difference between right and wrong, moral values... well you get the picture. 

Lynn and Jackson wanted the lives to their children to be more than better. They wanted them to have the best education, be musically talented, have the best social standing, shop in the best stores, whatever it would take to not just propel them into the uppercrust of Charleston, South Carolina, but become members of the elite.

Lynn remembered the heartache and heart break of not being accepted and Jackson never forgot how hard he had to work to obtain the current position he had in Charleston's society.

In Sunrise on the Battery, I found myself drawn to their oldest daughter, Catherine. The pressure to not just succeed but excel in everything was incredible. How her parents failed to notice there was something wrong with her was incredible sad. She almost..... oops.... I almost told you what happened!

When Lynn prayed for her husband to know Jesus.... she just didn't anticipate what would become of her life, the lives of her children or Jackson, himself.

I can see where the author, Beth Webb Hart, was influenced by David Platt's Radical

I did enjoy the book, though to me it seemed a little like a fairy tale in some places. (Maybe it's because I've never had the pleasure of hobnobbing with the uppercrust folk.) I found Beth Webb Hart's style of writing relaxing and warm. A bit like sipping a nice ice cold glass of sweet tea on a warm afternoon. (I have done that!)

So, if you are looking for a refreshing glass of ice tea.... I mean, a warm and lovely story about love, grace, compassion and life changes, then this is a great book for you.

Beth Webb Hart, a South Carolina native, holds a B.A. in English Literature from Hollins College and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Sarah Lawrence College. 

Her first novel, Grace at Low Tide, was one of three finalists for the 2006 Christy Awards in the general/contemporary/fiction category. Her second novel, Adelaide Piper, was selected for Books-a-Million's book club and for their national book of the month for December, 2006. Both titles were included in the "Top 10 Christian Novels of 2006" by Booklist, the American Library Association's review journal. Hart's third novel, The Wedding Machine, became an ECPA best-seller in July of 2008.

Beth Webb lectures on a variety of topics and has taught creative writing on the college and high school level where she received two national awards from Scholastic, Inc. She lives with her husband, composer Edward Hart, and their children in Charleston, South Carolina where she teaches English and Creative Writing at Ashley Hall.

This is her website: http://bethwebbhart.com/sunrise/

This book was provided by The B&B Media Group, Inc. for the sole purpose of reviewing. I am under no obligation to provide a positive review.

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