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Shades of Light: A Novel


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Table of Contents

Part 1: Even There
Part 2: Worn Out
Part 3: Keeping Watch
Part 4: Even the Darkness
Recommended Resources
List of Vincent van Gogh Works

About the Author

Sharon Garlough Brown is a spiritual director, speaker, and cofounder of Abiding Way Ministries, providing spiritual formation retreats and resources. She is the author of the bestselling Sensible Shoes Series, which includes spiritual fiction novels Sensible Shoes, Two Steps Forward, Barefoot, An Extra Mile, and their study guides. A graduate of Princeton Theological Seminary, Sharon has served on the pastoral staff of congregations in Scotland, Oklahoma, England, and most recently in West Michigan, where she copastored with her husband, Jack, for many years.


"Brown's evocative prose . . . is both heartbreaking and enthralling. This emotionally harrowing story will appeal to fans of Karen Kingsbury."--Publishers Weekly
"Christians have not done well with the subject of mental illness. There is a great deal of stigma around the therapy process, calling people's struggles 'a lack of faith' or 'sin in their life.' This marvelous book courageously unveils the reality of psychological struggle even among people of faith, pointing us to the Jesus who keeps company with us in everything that is hard--a companion in sorrow. Thank you, Sharon, for this work that I predict will be healing to many."--James Bryan Smith, author of The Good and Beautiful God
"Look for cameos by some of your favorite characters from the Sensible Shoes series in this quiet, honest story about the hallowing of the soul in its journey with Jesus through suffering. For anyone who has faced the darkness of depression or walked that road with a loved one, this is a beautiful, much-needed Christian vision of mental illness as both clinical (therefore treatable) and spiritual."--Sarah Arthur, Christianity Today fiction judge, author of A Light So Lovely: The Spiritual Legacy of Madeleine L'Engle
"What a consolation this novel will be for those who have known the darkness! Too often church people approach mental illness with fear, simplistic theology, and useless spiritual bromides. By telling Wren's story, Sharon Garlough Brown instead gently welcomes us into a companionship of sorrow where we can glimpse the dark beauties of grace. There's bracing truth here about the stubbornness of mental illness, the spiritual and practical implications, the helpless ache of those who love but can't fix. But there's also beauty of soul, which emerges for readers through Wren's sensitive dwelling in the paintings and writings of Vincent van Gogh. And as we learn to dwell in Wren's world, to enter that circle of sorrow, we find at the center of it the compassionate, Gethsemane presence of Christ."--Debra Rienstra, professor of English at Calvin College, author of So Much More: An Invitation to Christian Spirituality

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