3 out of 4 stars
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The Hobble is the story of Electa. Once she enjoyed theatre and dancing until she tripped over a stone and fell. Since that day, she has walked with a limp, or hobble (thus the title). She has received a mysterious invitation to an all-expense-paid vacation at the Kingsway Manor Inn. Feeling burned out and disappointed with her life, Electa decides that this getaway is precisely the respite she needs.
At this inn, she will meet many eclectic and lovable characters. However, by far, the most intriguing is Jah. He seems to appear out of nowhere. Kind, patient, and giving, he is said to have the most profound effect on others. Some begin to question if Jah could be the Son of God, having taken the human form to come back to earth. Jah is also described as a carpenter, in his thirties, and known to save lives and seemingly perform miracles. Is Jah the Son of God? Will Electa’s stay at the inn be what she needs to turn her life around?
I liked the author’s premise behind this novel. She writes of a young lady with a disability desperately wanting to feel whole again. I think her hobble was not only physical but also designed to represent her crooked and unsteady walk with God. Electa is vividly portrayed as being angry and cynical. She finds the entire concept of religion to be confusing. The author does an excellent job of putting you inside Electa’s mind. Mary, the innkeeper, is gentle, patient, and benevolent. More than anything, she wants to guide Electa into knowing Christ and looking forward to her future. I found both of these characters to be likable and relatable.
Also, I enjoyed reading the sections of the book when Jah made an appearance or was discussed. It was especially interesting to note the responses of others concerning him. Their reactions ranged from believing that He was the Son of God to just seeing him as a wandering carpenter, currently building a home high up on their mountain.
If I had to find anything to dislike, it was the constant dialog. At times, I found myself wanting a break from yet one more conversation. Possibly condensing some of these conversations would broaden the appeal of the book. Marino did a thorough job of interjecting scripture from The Bible throughout her story and explaining what some of the quotes meant.
Unfortunately, I did find more than ten errors (in the first twenty-five percent of the book alone). Therefore, I rate The Hobble by Andrea Marino 3 out of 4 stars. I am deducting one point for the errors. However, given these corrections, Marino will have a very engaging novel. I can recommend this book to Christians, as the scripture verses will be familiar and comforting. The dialog and quoting of scripture may be a deterrent for some readers. Anyone with a handicap and looking for inspiration may enjoy Electa's story. Since this book is without violence and sex scenes, it is also appropriate for younger adults.
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