Brenda S. Anderson’s latest release continues her theme of helping the homeless. In Home another Way, the hero and heroine are from opposite backgrounds. One has had a privileged upbringing and gets herself into trouble by being an activist just for the sake of drawing attention to herself. The other has gone from a desperate situation of being homeless and a thief to one of respect and honor as a teacher and soup kitchen coordinator.
What I really appreciated about this novel is how it shows how people can serve others without ulterior motives. Austin serves to serve. Danielle, however, sashays in to volunteer, but she is doing so to complete her community service hours, part of her punishment for a stunt she pulled protesting. She doesn’t always believe in the things she protests. Her goal seems to be to oppose her mother, a state senator, but a childhood wound causes her to seek attention. Like many of us with childhood wounds, we act inappropriately sometimes at certain triggers; perhaps in some cases we don’t have the full story, as in Danielle’s case. Despite her spoiled attitude, Danielle does love her mother. Through the story, we watch her grow as she learns by watching Austin. Her motives move from selfish to unselfish.
Austin lives out his faith in ways that get Danielle’s attention. Austin, however, doesn’t want any attention. He’s serious and focused and no-nonsense. Danielle teaches him to relax and have fun though when stresses get to be too much.
I loved the advice Austin gave a group before they visited a tent camp. He said to be Jesus, not to proselytize. A volunteer asked what he meant by this, and he said, “Do what comes naturally to you. For some of us that means talking. For others, it means simply handing someone a pair of wool socks.”
The reason I liked this was because I always am concerned about my part in volunteer activities. I watch how easily others do different outreaches. Austin’s advice assures me that I can do what is comfortable to me because then I am more genuine and my offering more effective.
Austin went on to say that it is God’s job to change hearts, not ours. What a relief it is to know this! That takes a lot of pressure off of us.
This is a whirlwind story of two people who are attracted to each other, one of which doesn’t think he’s good enough to date a senator’s daughter given his history. How the author ties all the pieces together is great.
Home another Way is a fun and speedy read. It would be a perfect Christmas movie given that it is set at Christmas time. I enjoyed this book and hope you will also.
My criticisms are few. I think the pacing of the story went really fast compared to how it might in real situations, but that’s okay. Entertainment seems to go that way, but then that’s why we enjoy the escape. There was one instance when she was “moving in this week” and then she “had to survive two more weeks with her mother” that caused me to pause.
The novel Home another Way by Brenda S. Anderson released last month. It is one of the novels in The Potter’s House Books series, a series of novels linked by hope, redemption and second chances.
Brenda Anderson doesn’t disappoint. She knows how to tell a good story. I hope you’ll find a copy to enjoy soon. Happy reading!