It took Lauren and her husband ten years to achieve their dream—reaching primitive tribes in remote regions of Nepal. But while Sam treks into the Himalayas for weeks at a time, finding passion and purpose in his work among the needy, Lauren and Ryan stay behind, their daily reality more taxing than inspiring. For them, what started as a calling begins to feel like the family’s undoing.
At the peak of her isolation and disillusion, a friend from Lauren’s past enters her life again. But as her communication with Aidan intensifies, so does the tension of coping with the present while reengaging with the past. It’s thirteen-year-old Ryan who most keenly bears the brunt of her distraction.
Intimate and bold, Of Stillness and Storm weaves profound dilemmas into a tale of troubled love and honorable intentions gone awry.
I’m sure I’ve said it before, but as part of the Fiction Guild Elite Reader program, I’m often given some pretty amazing books to read and share with my readers. Today’s book is no different! It’s one of those books I wouldn’t have gone out and bought for myself because I wouldn’t have known what I was missing!
Of Stillness and Storm by Michèle Phoenix is about a missionary family living in Nepal. The story itself is told in two parts – it begins with Lauren, the narrator and wife of Sam, and her 13-year old son, Ryan, living with intermittent power in their home near Kathmandu. Sam leaves for weeks at a time to trek into remote tribes, while leaving Lauren and Sam alone. Lauren is finding ways to cope with the struggle, but Ryan starts feeling the effect of the struggling family.
Lauren gets back in touch with a childhood friend who seems to remind her to fight for her son, as well as the woman and writer she used to be. I loved that Lauren seemed very human to readers. Her struggle is familiar to many Christians and while her story is fictional, it is very relatable. Lauren is able to discover that out of darkness and loss emerges a “relentless, demanding, trustworthy, benevolent, and healing God.”
I saw a reviewer share a quote from a conversation Lauren has with Sam and I loved it:
“I tend to think that who we become because of our faith is more important than what we do to prove it.”
Of Stillness and Storm is a story that continues to linger long after its reading. The story is filled with relationships, both spiritual and physical, and it is such a well written book. With rawness and honesty, it plumbs the depths of commitment to family and God. The story is a fascinating view of the missionary life and the benefits and potential pitfalls that can result. This book is one of the most powerful works of fiction I’ve read in a while and I highly recommend it to others.
Born in France to a Canadian father and an American mother, Michèle is a consultant, writer and speaker with an international perspective.
She taught for 20 years at Black Forest Academy (Germany) before launching her own venture advocating for Third Culture Kids under Global Outreach Mission.
Michèle travels globally to consult and teach on topics related to TCKs. She loves good conversations, mischievous students, anything French and buttery and paths to healing.
I received a copy of this book without cost from the publisher through The Fiction Guild, a Thomas Nelson/Zondervan Elite Reader book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions expressed in this post are my own.