Long before anyone would christen it “The Dust Bowl,” Nola Merrill senses the destruction. She’s been drying up bit by bit since the day her mother died, leaving her to be raised by a father who withholds his affection the way God keeps a grip on the Oklahoma rain. A hasty marriage to Russ, a young preacher, didn’t bring the escape she desired. Now, twelve years later with two children to raise, new seeds of dissatisfaction take root.
When Jim, a mysterious drifter and long-lost friend from her husband’s past, takes refuge in their home, Nola slowly springs to life under his attentions until a single, reckless encounter brings her to commit the ultimate betrayal of her marriage. For months Nola withers in the wake of the sin she so desperately tries to bury. Guilt and shame consume her physically and spiritually, until an opportunity arises that will bring the family far from the drought and dust of Oklahoma. Or so she thinks. As the storms follow, she is consumed with the burden of her sin and confesses all, hoping to find Russ’s love strong enough to stand the test.
About the Author
The award winning author Allison Pittman has penned more than twelve novels, including her series set in the Roaring Twenties—All for a Song, All For a Story, and All for a Sister. Allison resides in San Antonio, Texas, with her husband, Mike, their three sons, and the canine star of the family—Stella.
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I have read many books by this author, but thus far, On Shifting Sand is my favorite. It was an amazing book to read which one night kept me up until 2 am. I just couldn’t put it down.
This gritty story is told in the first person point of view, allowing the reader to invade every thought of the main character. Nola shares, in her own words, the descent into sin through her thoughts, deeds, and her eventual road to repentance and restoration. This book was difficult to read at times, covering the subjects of adultery, anorexia, child abuse, depression, and poor self esteem. The power of this novel rests in the amazing way the author leads the reader from the road of sin to the road of repentance.
I also enjoyed the history of this period of Oklahoma. The detail Allison Pittman wove into this story paints mental pictures which places the reader in the center of the plot. The conflict of the characters to overcome the brutal dust storms, the tragic death of some who were suffocated in dust, and the daily struggle of cleaning and preparation of simple meals, brought reality to this tale I did not know.
I highly encourage you to purchase this book. Although the subject of adultery is presented, Allison Pittman presented this in a clean, completely tasteful way. This story is appropriate for an older teen through adult. On Shifting Sand will be a page turner you will reflect on for some time.
Thank you to Allison Pittman and Tyndale Fiction Publishing for the opportunity to review this book in exchange for my honest review.