For a change of pace, I chose an uncharacteristic genre for me, as my next Moody Publishers book review. Sometimes you just have to stop with the insights, pause the theology, set aside the deep things, rest the from the applications and indulge in some brain candy.
That’s the best way I can describe Tia McCollor’s new book, Steppin’ Into the Good Life. It’s very similar to the Shopoholic books, quite literally, as the protagonist, Sheila, admits and learns to contain her voracious shopping habit. The quality that sets this book apart, however, is the bright thread of faith woven through the story.
Within the first three chapters, Sheila, a new unemployed, recently dumped, down-on-her-luck socialite meets Jesus. The fact that she is secretly attending her ex-boyfriend’s wedding when this happens, sets the theme of the entire tale.
Tension mounts as Sheila’s luck plummets. Through a series poor choices in men, she finds herself discouraged, lonely and in debt. Then Jesus, as He so often does in adversity, quietly, almost invisibly woes her to Himself as the only one who can satisfy her heart’s desire for love.
Now Sheila doesn’t face her obstacles alone. Her new faith leads her to meet Eden, a spunky Christian bookstore owner with her own troubles. Eden mentors her, as much by her own example of faith as by her words. At Eden’s church Sheila also meets Sherry and Anisha, Christian women who surround her with compassion and prayer. Sherry even gets involved on a very practical level, helping Sheila to turn her shopping habit into an entrepreneurial opportunity.
The man of Sheila’s dreams is waiting in the wings. In perfect timing, through means of the body of Christ, God leads her into a brand new, pure, romantic relationship.
As a work of fiction, Steppin’ Into the Good Life, is well done. It is simple, but entertaining. McCollors develops all of the characters thoroughly, the dialogue is unique and witty and the plot is a fresh twist on the over-done, chick-lit romance.