Book Review: Grace Ecklu’s ‘Guilty as Grace’

I am always excited to lay my hands on any Ghanaian Christian novel and Grace Ecklu’s ‘Guilty as Grace’ is one of the few I have come across. Guilty as Grace is largely a Christian-romance involving two main characters Esther, and Ethan (Papa) with Sarah (hiding in the middle).

The romance between Ethan and Esther began over the phone when they had not met physically (quite complicated for me to summarise). For some reason, they enjoyed each others’ company. The romance continued to sizzle till Esther broke the news of her scholarship to Ethan while she was boarding a flight to Singapore. Coincidentally, Ethan was planning to meet her (physically) and this commenced the ‘roller-coaster’ relationship between the two.

Esther was a strong character who had been shaped, to a large extent, by her experiences. She was the engineer of the ‘roller coaster’ who kept the story moving with her fears, indecision and decisions. Ethan, on the other hand, was the cool, handsome, down-to-earth guy, working steadily towards becoming successful. Why Esther was acting the way she was towards a cool dude like Ethan, I may need to leave that to you to discover for yourself when you read the book. 😂

Guilty as Grace is filled with a lot of suspense and it reminded me so much of the relationship between Michael and Angel in Francine RiversRedeeming Love. Ethan was a lot like Michael when he purposed in his heart to pray about every single step of his relationship with Esther. He even sought the counsel of a pastor to understand this woman better but Esther, like Angel, had a mind of her own. It is quite ironical that society sees women as the more eager ones to ‘settle in marriage’ but certainly not these two.

I did fall in love with the character, Ethan and his ‘way of loving.’ I also enjoyed how the messages exchanged between him and Esther were included in portions of the book. I don’t know whether I missed that aspect of the story but knowing the ages of the characters would have put the story more into context as Esther’s family were putting pressure on her to get married. The author did a fantastic job of describing the scenes in East Africa but a more vivid description of Singapore would have taken the readers along with Esther when she was studying there too.

The book isn’t boring. There are several other characters who pushed the story like the bubbly Sarah (Ethan’s little sister), Pastor Perry and his wife, Esther’s mum and siblings.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone in a relationship because it teaches you how to love right (in a Godly way). Anyone struggling to accept God’s grace because of their past would thoroughly enjoy reading this book. If you are also looking for a fun and exciting novel to read and relax, Guilty as Grace should be on your reading list.

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Book Review: Nana Ama Buckman’s ‘Confessions of an African Christian’

Initially, I thought the Confessions of an African Christian was a novel. From the title also, I perceived I was going to read something hilarious and fun and not too serious but as I dug deeper into Nana Ama Buckman’s 94-page memoir, my mind began reflecting on my Christian walk. I critically assessed myself.

This book can pass as a modern-day evangelistic tool with regards to its content. The words were plain, truthful and piercing. I’m not too sure if I have seen this kind of writing yet, particularly, in the Christian sphere. Confessions of an African Christian was broken down into short chapters with each dealing with a specific topic bordering on Christianity. The author dealt with subjects like the Christian’s relationship with the Holy Spirit, with their pastors, on giving money particularly to the church, our mental health, among others.

Even though this book is not novel, I enjoyed the tiny bits of the author’s personal experiences relating to the subjects. Her style of writing was also frank, relatable and could easily be blog entries/posts.

The reader could also decipher how passionate the author was about the various subjects – they were well researched and situated in scripture. The book sets the reader’s mind contemplating, especially with the questions that were posed at the end of each chapter. They required a critical evaluation of one’s current stance based on what they’ve read. Also concluding each chapter were declarations and prayers.

If we can be truthful to ourselves, we’d admit that indeed, the modern Christian faces some tough challenges and a number of them were mentioned in the book. For instance, when we decide to put ‘God in our hearts’ to be seen and accepted as being ‘cool.’ Or when we have to silently battle emotional turmoils and depression with positive confessions while we require medical attention instead. The chapters that got me smiling the most were the ones that discussed money and pastors. They were painfully sincere. 😅😅

It is simply a good read particularly for those of us who are not into ‘prescriptive’ ‘right-in-your-face’ ‘do-this-do-that’ kind of Christian books. Confessions of an African Christian though bible-based is laced with the witty personal experiences of the writer. You are likely to act according to what is preached in the book without you realising it. It is a book I’ll recommend.

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