A Tumbled Stone, by Marcia Lee Laycock (Word Alive Press, 2012)
Andrea Calvert grew up on the Canadian prairies with foster parents who provided for her but were never able to show their love. Now 19 and pregnant, Andrea would rather take her chances alone than live with their silent reproach.
She finds a job and caring friends at Evie’s Diner. Evie, the owner, is a Christian who welcomes the strays she says God sends her. At the moment, that includes Andrea and a young mentally challenged man named Benny, who makes it his mission to protect Andrea’s unborn baby.
Author Marcia Lee Laycock writes with a contagious compassion for her characters. Andrea feels real, as do her foster parents. Edna and Earl aren’t cardboard, rigid people. They’re silent because they’re trapped behind walls of hurt from the past. As Andrea tries to find her own way and the brother she doesn’t know exists tries to find her, this wounded couple move toward finding one another.
The first book in the series, One Smooth Stone, tells the story of Alex Donnolly, Andrea’s older brother, whose experience in foster care was horrific. In A Tumbled Stone it’s good to see how far Alex has come in recovery and in his new Christian faith. He’s a work in progress, and the urgency he feels to find Andrea brings more pressure to bear.
The characters in A Tumbled Stone drew me in. The word “tumble” in the title refers to rock tumbling, which smoothes a stone’s rough edges and texture. Evie makes jewellery from stones, and she tells Andrea “God is always doing things in our lives, but it takes time. He knows exactly when to take the pressure off or to increase it. He knows just how much tumbling we need.” (p. 76)
Andrea faces more “tumbling” before the book is done.
A Tumbled Stone is a good read that kept calling me back to finish. Marcia Lee Laycock is a gifted writer, and I hope we’ll see more fiction from her. She’s also the author of the non-fiction books Abundant Rain, Spur of the Moment and Focused Reflections. You can learn more about Marcia Lee Laycock and her books at her website.