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Composing Amelia - Alison Strobel

Posted by Gina Schwartz on March 29, 2012 at 2:30 PM

Composing Amelia


Composing Amelia, is a journey through the introduction of mental illness into a young marriage and the resulting havoc that can be wreaked by the disease. A young Los Angeles marriage is put to the test and two careers are threatened when Amelia's husband Marcus is hired as a pastor at a remote Nebraska church. The move results in resentment and sparks the onset of mental illness in Amelia. Can Amelia's faith stand up to the oppression in her mind and the dysfunction in her relationship with her workaholic pastor husband? Will Marcus recognize the mistakes he's made in time to make things right—or will the darkness in Amelia's head push her off the edge before Marcus can be the husband he's meant to be? And how can God use such broken people to turn around the lives of the small flock of believers to whom He's led them?

summary from Goodreads


My Take


I can't say that I really enjoyed this novel.  I found that Amelia's confusion with her faith and the way she chose to exoress it was childish and petulant and I disliked the way she treated Marcus and ignored his needs and his ambitions.


What was lovely about the novel though was Marcus' character.  His love and patient understanding, his willingness to try aeverythign to save his relationship with Amelia, his tenderness, his care and his trust in God.  We should all be thankful to find a man so fine.  What was also well done in teh novel was the author's portrayl of biplar disease as a truly debilitating mental illness that kills from the inside out.  Oftentimes stories aobut mental illnesses are told from the perspective of someone looking in but in this novel we can feel Amelia's pain at having to exclude herself and her resentment about the betrayal of her mind.


The marriage relationship portrayed in this novel is a real one told by someone who has obviously been married.  There is always a time when both parties are dealing with their own issues and each shuts out the other and the marriage relationship suffers. 


Marcus's troubles relationship with his father is one areas where Amelia supports him.  She is the one on his side when his father ignores his accomplishments despite his obvious need for approval.  His ability to work through these issues and face the truth is explored very emotionally in the novel.


Although I did enjoy these theme in the story I found the story itself quite emplty,  I dont feel any desire to read it again.


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