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Authors: Alison Strobel

Tags: #Music, #young marriages, #Contemporary, #Bipolar, #pastoring, #small towns, #musician, #Depression, #Mental Illness, #Pregnancy

Composing Amelia

BOOK: Composing Amelia
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What people are saying about …

C
OMPOSING
A
MELIA

“What a phenomenal story! I can’t think of a more accurate way to describe this novel. Strobel touches on so many aspects of real life.
Composing Amelia
gives readers a glimpse into varying emotional landscapes. It shows effective and ineffective communication, uncovers scars from dysfunctional families, exposes discord due to different marriage goals, shows how guilt and suppressed pain often lead to out-of-control depression, outlines couples searching for a balance between their needs and their dreams, exposes the agony of secrets, and explores the definition of genuine faith. Strobel is a master at exploring the inner workings of the heart. I love the way she writes her characters.”

Michelle Sutton,
author of over a dozen
novels, including
It’s Not About Me
and
the best-selling
Danger at the Door

“Alison Strobel keeps getting better and better.
Composing Amelia
is a novel I consider to be a lasting work of fiction. Within its pages, Strobel plumbs the depths of emotion in a subject fraught with prejudice and misinformation within the church. With characters your heart will embrace, it is a story of pride and depression without being depressing. From the first page until the last, I was caught up in Marcus and Amelia’s world, unwilling to stop reading. A beautiful love story, you’ll see God’s grace through unconditional love. Alison Strobel is quickly proving she has what it takes to be a best-selling author, book after book. Novel Journey and I give it our highest recommendation. It is a five-star must-read. Bravo, Alison!”

Ane Mulligan,
editor of Novel Journey,
www.noveljourney.blogspot.com

Praise for …

R
EINVENTING
R
ACHEL

“A fascinating story of one woman’s search for God, of falling and rising and finding that we’re never alone. In Rachel’s struggles, many readers will recognize their own.”

Lisa Wingate,
best-selling author of
Beyond Summer
and
Never Say Never

“This honestly written book is a must-read for any survivors of ‘churchianity.’ Realistic and transparent, Rachel Westing will strike a familiar chord with anyone who’s ever felt disenfranchised with contemporary ‘Christian’ culture. I lent this book to a friend—and she called it a life-altering story. Way to go, Alison!”

Melody Carlson,
author of The Four Lindas
series and 86 Bloomberg Place series


Reinventing Rachel
is one of the most emotionally powerful and insightful books I’ve read in years. The author’s intimate understanding of spiritual truth and the frailties of the human heart is evident in this well-written story. The conflict was so genuine and believable that it took my breath away and moved me to tears. God is really going to use this book to reach the hearts of people who are floundering in their faith.”

Michelle Sutton,
author of over a dozen
novels, including
It’s Not About Me
and
the best-selling
Danger at the Door


Reinventing Rachel
is the story of a young woman who finds herself questioning her faith and engaging in dangerous behaviors when her relationships are torn apart. Author Alison Strobel draws the reader into Rachel’s world where, after spiraling into disbelief and brokenness, she begins the uphill, grace-filled journey back to God and a life punctuated by hope.”

Tamara Leigh,
American Christian Fiction
Writers’ “Book of the Year” author of
Splitting Harriet
and
Nowhere, Carolina

“Alison Strobel delivers a tsunami of emotion in
Reinventing Rachel.
I haven’t read another book that grew with as much intensity and depth. Deceptively innocent in its first chapters,
Reinventing Rachel
will grab your heart and hold it captive, leaving you breathless until the end. Novel Journey and I give it a high recommendation.”

Ane Mulligan,
editor of Novel Journey,
www.noveljourney.blogspot.com

“Alison Strobel’s novel depicts the painful unraveling of a self-righteous soul—and her reascent up a daunting spiritual mountain. Strobel’s passion for her character’s journey and pursuit of truth comes through loud and clear on the page. For every reader who has doubted God through troubled times, this book is for you.”

Rene Gutteridge,
author of
Listen
and
Never the Bride

COMPOSING AMELIA

Published by David C Cook

4050 Lee Vance View

Colorado Springs, CO 80918 U.S.A.

David C Cook Distribution Canada

55 Woodslee Avenue, Paris, Ontario, Canada N3L 3E5

David C Cook U.K., Kingsway Communications

Eastbourne, East Sussex BN23 6NT, England

David C Cook and the graphic circle C logo

are registered trademarks of Cook Communications Ministries.

All rights reserved. Except for brief excerpts for review purposes,

no part of this book may be reproduced or used in any form

without written permission from the publisher.

The website addresses recommended throughout this book are offered as a resource to you. These websites are not intended in any way to be or imply an endorsement on the part of David C Cook, nor do we vouch for their content.

This story is a work of fiction. All characters and events are the product of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to any person, living or dead, is coincidental.

Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica, Inc™. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.com.

LCCN 2011928812

ISBN 978-1-4347-6773-8

eISBN 978-1-4347-0419-1

© 2011 Alison Strobel

The author is represented by MacGregor Literary.

The Team: Don Pape, Nicci Jordan Hubert, Nick Lee, Renada Arens, and Karen Athen

Cover Design: Amy Konyndyk

Cover Photo: iStock 13255924; 8841420

First Edition 2011

A
CKNOWLEDGMENTS

Nicci Jordan Hubert: I feel like I owe you both an apology (didn’t I promise not to do this to you again?!) and a coauthorship credit. Once again, you kicked both my butt and my story’s, and made us both better. Thank you for your encouragement and support, and for still wanting to work with me after two very messy books.

Rachel Hauck: Thank you for playing therapist to both me
and
my characters. Without your help I wouldn’t have figured either of them out, and I probably would have gone loonier than Amelia’s mom. You saved the story and my sanity!

The women who shared their stories: Johanna Verburg, Kimberly C. Simpkins, Amy G., Catherine Boyd, Jodie LaRiviere, Erin, and Margaret W. Roney. Thank you for your honesty and openness. Because of you, Amelia’s story rings true.

Lisa Klein, Kari Holt, and Veronica Huffines: Thank you for sharing your NICU and preemie-care experiences.

Dr. Kate Hrach: Thank you for making sure I didn’t do anything medically impossible.

Dan, aka Husband of the Year: Thank you, babe, for everything. I love you more than I can say.

My parents, Lee and Leslie: Thank you for everything you do for my family. None of this would happen without you.

My Creator, Guide, and Savior: Thank You for the ability and opportunity to write. I am humbled to be a part of Your plan.

For Jen

C
ONTENTS

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Epilogue

AfterWords

Reader’s Guide

Author Interview

C
HAPTER 1

The bus ride to LA Café was a soul-sucking experience.

Amelia Sheffield’s head bounced with each pothole as she attempted to doze. She’d never been a morning person, but her boss didn’t seem to care. The shop opened at six, and if she wanted a paycheck, she needed to be there in time to get the bread baking and the sandwich fixings organized for the crowd that picked up lunches on the way to work. Never a big meat eater, she found chicken and shredded turkey and sliced roast beef even more difficult to handle at five thirty in the morning.

She stepped off the bus at Sunset and Echo Park, then walked the last three blocks to the shop. LA wasn’t a pretty city at any time of day, but at least at o-dark-thirty it was a bit more calm. She’d walked this route long enough now to have figured out the regulars and locals, and they exchanged sleepy nods as they passed on the sidewalk. Familiar faces, friendly conversation—it was all that kept her at this job. Well, that and the need to eat and pay rent.

When the manager switched on the Open sign and unlocked the front door, Amelia gathered her resolve and wiped the mope off her face. She began to greet the customers as though they were close personal friends.

“You way too chipper,
chica,
” Maria told her. “Ain’t gonna find a producer in here, you know. They all eat downtown.”

“Touché,” Amelia admitted. “But either way, I can’t stand the thought of grunting my way through the day and never actually talking with anyone.” Then, in a lowered voice, “This job is bad enough without my attitude making it worse.”

“You saying my attitude is bad?”

Amelia grinned and popped Maria on the shoulder. “Your attitude? Naw,
chica,
you’re the picture of optimism.” That started Maria laughing.

But despite her best efforts, Amelia could feel the creativity draining from her blood every day that she punched in and then out again eight hours later. Every day, she would drag herself to the bus stop and slouch against the shelter, feeling isolated despite the people around her, and she would pray that today would be the day she got an offer for the job she really wanted.

To her surprise, her husband, Marcus, was home when she let herself in to their fourth-floor studio, his hair still wet from what was likely a post-jog shower. She hardly ever saw him during the day; he worked so much. Between his tutoring jobs, his surf instructing, and his part-time shifts behind the register at Target, he was rarely home and awake for more than an hour or two at the most. Going for a run was one of the ways Marcus blew off steam.

BOOK: Composing Amelia
7.32Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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