A Book Review on Gina Holder’s novel Whither Shall I Go by Andrea D. Lim
Love, equality, honesty, and respect are some of the essential things that should be present in an ideal family. This basic unit of society called family can be bound to fall apart even if the ties between its members have good foundation whenever tragedy strikes.
The novel Whither Shall I Go by Gina Holder is a riveting novel about how people from different walks of life, may it be family backgrounds or the complexities of past lives, have met through the author’s effective writing command in connecting these encounters to form a compelling story.
Holder’s heart-warming story revolves in Eleanor Grace Williams who prefers to be called Ellie. She used to belong to a loving and nurturing family in Cades Cove in Tennessee until all members, especially her mother, suffer due to her father’s sudden death. Unable to cope successfully enough to raise her children well, Ellie’s mother has decided to send her to New York City to live with her Aunt Ida.
Under her rich aunt, she gets raised as a socialite. One day, she meets Marcus and Judith Smith, missionaries who lose Paul, one of their sons who ran away from home when he was still an adolescent. Paul is a conflicted son who has grudges against his parents, especially toward his father who favors his elder brother Stephen more than him. Ellie then receives a God-given calling to do missionary work in Brazil. There she meets Paul who becomes a doctor and Jack, a soldier who has suffered from amnesia during the war.
This is indeed a page-turner book about Ellie’s courage upon responding to God’s plans as she grows more faithful each day on her Christian walk. The story shows that indeed, everything works together for the good, no matter how devastating tragedies in life could be. It also highlights the great things in store for those who obey God’s commands and desire the fulfillment of his will in spite of the fears and doubts that cripple the heart and mind upon listening to what the Lord says.
Moreover, just like Ellie and the other major characters in the story, Christians in general should have the desire to reach out to those who are lost. For the prodigal sons and daughters who choose to become the black sheep instead of confronting issues with a godly attitude, this is also an inspiring narrative with redemption as one of its major themes. Lost souls can still go back to the truth and repent before it is too late.
The main takeaway readers can get from Whither Shall I Go is the importance of trusting the Lord in all life seasons, even if life seems too difficult to get by each day. Will she make it through missionary work? Will she let fear or courage dictate the direction of her life? Who will eventually win her heart? Read on to find the answers.