Can a good, hard-working Christian man disregard his cultural and religious admonitions—as well as his mother’s plans for his life—for the love of a woman and an historic church building?
Oliver Barnett is a good contractor, a good Christian, and an obedient son, never in trouble, never one to rock the boat … until real estate developer Samantha Cohen enters his life. Samantha, full of life, vitality, and wit, is unlike any woman he has ever known—in more ways than one. Not only is she planning to transform an historic church near downtown Pittsburgh into a restaurant/nightclub, but she is Jewish and has a less-than-innocent past.
Oliver finds himself in a most unsettling dilemma. Does he do what’s right by the nice girl his mother has chosen for him, or does he do what his heart is telling him to do?
I loved the premise of Terri Kraus' third Project Restoration novel, The Transformation, with Oliver Barnett, a Christian contractor faced with transforming a church into a restaurant at the request of the brazen and jaded land developer, Sam Cohen. Terri presents her characters with many a moral, spiritual and familial dilemma that breathes life and realism into a story which is both intriguing and suspenseful. I have to admit however some of the characters were extremely unlikable, especially Oliver's dreadfully manipulative mother, Rose and his competing love interest, Paula and I found myself wanting to skip past scenes with them in it. That being said, I applaud Terri tackling topics rarely broached, raising interfaith relationships and adding her expertise as an interior designer to make this story special.
With thanks to The B&B Media Group for my review copy
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