Sunday, May 3, 2015

An Eye-Opening Look at Life in Islam-Controlled Sudan - Review of Side by Side - by Jana Kelley

About the book:
Side by Side (New Hope Publishers, April 2015)

In the dusty, Islamic country of Sudan, Mia's life collides with that of another young woman.

A young Christian American mother, Mia finds more than one dark secret on the streets of Khartoum. She finds Halimah, a young, upper-class Arab student with a bright future in her family's business whose risky and secretive decision has put her life in danger. What happens when the path of young mother intersects with that of a spunky Sudanese student? God transforms them both . . . forever.

Part of New Hope® Publishers' contemporary missional fiction line, Side by Side opens the reader's eyes to the life of Muslims in Sudan as well as some of the struggles that Christians face when living under Islamic law. The reader will be inspired to pray for those who are persecuted for their faith as well as pray for the salvation of those who persecute.

My review:

This was an interesting and eye-opening book that showed the perspectives of both a Muslim woman and an American woman living in Sudan and how they're paths eventually cross.  I liked how Mia was portrayed as very human.  She felt like her and her husband and children were supposed to move to Sudan to share Jesus with people, but once there it wasn't like she thought it would be.  She was stuck at home a lot and felt like she wasn't making a difference.  She started to get discouraged.  Spiritual warfare was also shown as being very real.  Halimah's story of how she came to Christ was fascinating.  She struggled to find a good opportunity to witness to her family and friends knowing what could happen.  There was a lot of information shown about the culture as Mia learns about it and we see a different view of it through Halimah's eyes.  The spiritual content of the story was wonderful as some of the characters share their faith while Halimah learns and reads on her own, too.  There's also much prayer involved.  There's a suspenseful feel to the story as you don't know if or when Halimah could be found out or the risks Mia and Halimah take in sharing their faith.  I would recommend this book if you want to know more about the situation many persecuted Christians find themselves in or what living in an Islam-controlled country would be like.  It's definitely a good reminder to pray for all involved.

I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase a copy:

About the author:

Jana Kelley
is a Texan who hardly ever lives in Texas. Raised in Southeast Asia, Jana developed a love for cross-cultural living early in life. Her love for writing came soon after. Jana returned to Texas to attend college. She and her husband married a month after she graduated and by their second anniversary, they were living in a remote African town. Together with her husband and three boys, Jana enjoys travel and overseas living. After thirteen years in Africa and the Middle East, Jana and her family moved to Southeast Asia where they currently live.

Find Jana online: website, Facebook, Twitter

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