Offerings by Christine Sunderland is a wonderfully entertaining novel which includes an interesting and engaging story as well as rich historical and descriptive passages.
Madeleine and Jack have been together for many years and have endured many trials. The novel begins with a flashback of Jack’s father dying, an event from which Jack has never truly recovered. The first chapter takes place at Madeleine’s son’s wedding where Jack collapses. Madeleine finds out that he has cancer and has months to live. The doctor convinces Madeleine not to share with Jack how serious his condition is. Her husband’s life could be extended, the doctor tells Madeleine, if he undergoes a risky procedure. However, the physician who has perfected this risky procedure has gone “on vacation” and is not available to do the surgery.
Madeleine and Jack travel to Europe to search for the elusive Dr. Rachelle DuPres. Rachelle is not “on vacation,” but is trying to discern the meaning of life and questioning her vocation to be a doctor after one of her patients dies. The story goes back and forth between Madeleine and Jack’s story and Rachelle’s compelling spiritual journey.
Sunderland’s beautiful writing, descriptions and history were so real that I felt like I was accompanying Madeleine, Jack and Rachelle on their respective travels through Europe. Although I was familiar with some of the history she included, I thoroughly enjoyed the historical background of the different European cathedrals, the Crusades and the Miraculous Medal.
I highly recommend this beautifully written book to anyone who enjoys a great story with well-developed characters and the occasional history lesson.
I can certainly understand why this novel won the Bronze Medal in Religious Fiction at the 2010 IPPY Awards (the same year my novel, In Name Only, won the Gold Medal.)
Offerings is available through Amazon.
Copyright 2011 Ellen Gable Hrkach