Gwendolyn Leavell

Publisher: Page Turner Press and Media Pages: 30 Price: (paperback) $3.99 ISBN: 9798889638032 Reviewed: September, 2023 Author Website: Visit »

In this trio of vignettes, the author shares frightening personal experiences as examples of the importance of faith in God.

Gwendolyn Leavell opens Daybreak with an introduction that casts herself as a woman “plagued with anxious thoughts and complex emotions” but also one whose first defense when confronted with “unexpected turmoil” is her spiritual faith: “the anchor that keeps me from sinking into the terrors of facing my everyday adversity.”

“The Bus Stop Caper,” begins with an unseasonably warm winter that feels like a small miracle. But the heat wave is followed by a fierce overnight snowstorm. As Leavell settles into her car to drive home from work the next day, she feels a sense of unease and discovers a man is trying to break into her car.

In “The Trash Can Brawler,” she encounters a young man wreaking havoc in the street. He then begins following her, attacking just as she reaches her workplace — when a security guard steps out of the building and saves the day.

The third tale sees Leavell leaving a bank, climbing into her car, then realizing she hadn’t locked the door, and a man is standing “in my personal space.” Was he dangerous? “I may have been murmuring or praying out loud with my car door wide open and a man standing there, but I just needed to seek the Lord in this uncertain situation.”

These short tales are crisply written in a compassionate voice, each related to underscore the importance of faith, but also as advice to other women who suffer anxiety and stress. The brevity of the pieces makes for fast reading, but the stories are slight, lacking the kind of fresh insights or artful writing that would distinguish them. Additionally, the details offered sometimes seem superfluous, and the advice can feel preachy at points.

Still, readers of faith with similar anxieties might appreciate the tales as assurance that they aren’t alone in their distress.

Also available in hardcover and ebook.

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