Reason for Reading: TLC Book Tour.
Completion Date: January, 2013.
Andie Oliver is a faithful woman—to God, to husband Joe, and to elevangelist Reverend Calvin Artury, a Godfather in a Mafia of holy men.
Raised to be subservient and submissive in the tradition of the Bible-belt South of the 70’s, she becomes a prisoner of that tradition. As a reluctant member of Artury’s evangelical megachurch, the House of Praise in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Andie’s dream of children, home, and marriage falls apart when Joe is hired on the ministry team.
The charismatic Reverend conducts faith-healing crusades, creating the largest religious TV audience in the world, surpassing the income and followers of Oral Roberts and the Reverend Billy Graham combined. Working limitless hours, Joe is sucked deeper into the ministry while Andie attempts to free him from the Reverend’s control and far-reaching influence.
But it is Mavis Dumass, Andie’s best friend since birth, a sassy African-American woman and aspiring recording star, who holds the secrets to Reverend Artury’s carefully veiled debauchery. What happens to Mavis will not be forgotten as it leaves Andie near mental collapse and struggling for freedom from the cult’s grip.
Andie is still unaware of the extreme danger their pastor wields until she witnesses the murder of a church member. Fearing for her life, Andie plummets from a dreadful existence to a horrific one as she uncovers Reverend Artury’s long-hidden truths, and loses everything. But she strikes back, threatening to expose the Reverend to the world.
Reverend Artury reverts to the twisted “cleansings” of his childhood. Raised by two psychopathic aunts, he mentally declines and quickly, Andie must go into hiding. Fighting for redemption for her family and herself, Andie confronts the very definition of sin, and shakes the Christian evangelical world to its core. Evading ruthless adversaries who will go to any lengths to protect Reverend Artury, Andie battles the dark side of televangelism, forever changing a nation of evangelicals.
With more twists and turns than the Blue Ridge Parkway, Televenge exposes chaos in the megachurch, and embraces those who discover unconditional love in a world of religious deception. A story of hope, of deliverance, and strength of the human spirit. An unforgettable tale of unconditional love, heartbreaking loss, an invincible spirit, and incredible courage.When I agreed to this tour I wasn't entirely sure the book was for me, but I wanted to give it a try. I was told it wasn't 'Christian' Fiction even though it was set in the South. It still looked like it was, though, and I have never been a big reader of books that centre around religion. It's just my reading tastes. That is not to say I avoid it like the plague. I just avoid it. This lead to very slack reading of the book. I picked it up right away to start it, but then I put it back down after only a few pages. This was the relationship I had with the book until I made myself read beyond the over-arching theme and see everything else that was going on. Then, I quite liked it.
I really liked Andie right from the start. I felt really bad for her, though. You could tell that life was not going to be what she was planning. She got married when she was 17 and had a different outlook than the reality. It was sad to watch her dreams come crashing down with the reality of little money and a brain-washed husband. Although, he never seemed to have trouble 'sinning'. He felt bad the whole time but kept right on doing it. Even though things were rocky, though, you could also feel bad for Joe. He was the under-achiever of his brothers and was just looking for acceptance. Reverend Autury was there and made him feel accepted. As to the Reverend, I didn't like him at all and I think that was sort of the accepted reaction you were to have in the opening pages of the book.
While my preconceived notions of this book might have had mixed results in the beginning, the book really is compelling. There is a lot going on in it that you can't help getting caught up in the story. I also really enjoyed the characters. They stick with you and make you feel for them. I enjoy when I can get into characters like that. I am really glad I took a chance on this book and recommend that you give it a try. It seems to be going over well with everyone that reads it!
Note: I apologize that I am late posting my review. My computer got invaded by a virus and I had to get it fixed. It seems to be running fun now so fingers crossed there are no more problems!