Yay, Virginia, for this new edition of Mayla's story! I found and fell in love with her in "Just As I Am", piercings, purple hair and all (which is quite a feat for me considering how conservatively I was raised), so I was thrilled to hear Mayla was getting a second story.
And I'm pleased to report that neither Virginia nor Mayla disappoint in "Sincerely, Mayla"! In fact, I would hazard a guess that if more of us were as sincere as Mayla, we'd spend a lot less time feudin' and a lot more fishin' (for souls).
Mayla is still fairly new in her faith...about nine months old. Many of her friends find appeal in her sincere and quiet faith as they watch her work out her salvation with lots of fear and quite a bit of trembling. As a result, many have come to Christ, and that has changed some things.
Pushed out of her job unfairly, secretly harboring feelings for her single pastor, rescuing a frozen bunny and riling her roommate as a result...all of this is going on in Mayla's life. Oh, and did I mention that her best friend, Stuart, isn't speaking to her?
So she chooses to take a portion of her severance package and fly to sunny Florida to visit her Aunt Louise and her grandmother, two family members she hasn't seen in ages. Hopefully, some sun and surf will blow the cold out of soul and give her clarity about her future.
Instead, Mayla finds herself in the midst of a mother daughter fuss and fume, her teen aged friend Lindsay runs away to her for help...only to find Mayla not where she's supposed to be! What can she do long distance to reach out to this troubled teen, while feeling unqualified to help?
With feelings and thoughts all jumbled up, Mayla learns to go to the One who unties our knots and who numbers our days...the One who has a plan for good for us, and to not bring us harm. And as a result, much good comes out of her being "Sincerely, Mayla"!
Through Mayla, Virginia tackles some tough topics for believers, both old and new. She does it with compassion, heart, and conviction, and I stand up and give her mad applause! In this duo of stories, Virginia takes what needs to be changed in the modern church and shows us the proper way to affect that change...without compromise, but with huge hearts for those seeking their way!
I'm letting Virginia know, I see room for a third novel here, and I think readers will love her and Mayla all the more! I'm giving "Sincerely, Mayla" a sincere five out of five bookmarks, with sunscreen as a charm. Read the book, and you'll see (or feel!) why!