Faith, Family, Love and Reviews

Kregel Tour: If You Follow Me (The Dunbridge Chronicles #3) by Pam Rhodes

on November 12, 2014

About the Book:

In the parish of Dunbridge the news is out: Claire and Neil are engaged! And yet, before the celebrations have really begun, Ben, the father of Claire’s son, appears back on the scene… It quickly becomes clear that young Sam is not the only person Ben wants to win back. As Neil reels in the face of Claire’s confusion at spending time with her first love, Wendy always seems to be there to provide support and comfort. Little does he know of Wendy’s involvement in Ben’s reappearance… However, Neil has little chance to ponder his love life as the whole weight of running the church and parish descends upon his inexperienced shoulders. Neil’s time as a curate in Dunbridge is coming swiftly to an end. Where should he go next, and who will go with him?

You can purchase your copy at Lion Hudson or wherever books are sold.

My Opinion:

If you’ve read my blog you’ll know that I really enjoyed the first book, Fisher of Men, but then in the second book, Casting the Net I had a few concerns so I guess I was hoping that the third book would be more like the first but I’d have to say the third was even more shocking especially since I was under the impression it was supposed to be Christian fiction, but as I look at the Lion Hudson website they list it as “modern and contemporary fiction”.  I must admit to enjoying following Neil’s story as he really has to delve into parish life and even though he’s still a curate (still in training) he’s basically acting as the full time vicar all while planning his wedding to Claire who still makes clear she can’t fully embrace his Christianity.  While I did enjoy the overall story, reading how Neil is getting on and has actually matured somewhat was refreshing as that was one issue I had with book two.

However, my concerns with this one was the use of “b****” by Claire who is engaged to Neil towards Neil’s ex-girlfriend who would like to rekindle her romance with him, I understand anger but it didn’t need to be expressed so vulgarly.  Also as Neil and Claire are discussing their upcoming marriage he is telling her what he thinks are good qualities in a minister’s wife and she tells him, “That I’m also your idea of s** on legs, and you fancy me madly?”.  I may sound like a prude or old fashioned but honestly I was just sort of taken aback no matter how attractive one finds their soon-to-be spouse I just don’t think it needed put into words.  Of course there was also the issue of homosexuality, which I know is something that is in our faces today and I guess I prefer to avoid it when I’m escaping into a book but the fact that no one counsels the young man in what God’s Word says and everyone is just okay with it left me a bit dumbfounded, also his suicide attempt seemed to be glossed over by just taking him and putting him a group home with other boys like himself.

As I said, I did enjoy the overall story and seeing some lose ends from the last book tied up and completed gave me a sense of happiness but again I still had concerns.  I know that there are friends who wouldn’t mind this book but there are others who will appreciate the heads up.  That said the author does live in the United Kingdom where things do tend to lean toward the more liberal ideologies even in their churches and while some words here are vulgar and not normally used in proper company those same words are not seen as vulgar over there.  I’d love to continue reading The Dunbridge Chronicles should there be more but I will approach with caution in the future.

(c) 2014, Sarah Bailey/Growing for Christ, All Rights Reserved, Unauthorized Duplication is a Violation of Applicable Laws


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