Made to Last by Melissa Tagg
Bethany House, 2013
“Your were ready to get rid of this old pulpit because all you saw was that ugly stain. But all along, underneath was a sturdy, strong wood. The kind of wood that’s made to last. Just took a little stripping away for you to see it.” (336)
Summary (from the back cover):
Miranda Woodruff has it all. At least, that’s how it looks when she’s starring in her homebuilding television show, From the Ground Up. So when her network begins to talk about making cuts, she’ll do anything to boost ratings and save her show–even if it means pretending to be married to a man who’s definitely not the fiance who ran out on her three years ago.
When a handsome reporter starts shadowing Miranda’s every move, all his digging into her personal life brings him a little too close to the truth–and to her. Can the girl whose entire identity is wrapped up in her on-screen persona finally find the nerve to set the record straight? And if she does, will the life she’s built come crashing down just as she’s found a love to last?
Miranda thought that one lie would be okay. But lies have slowly overtaken her life, and what was once one lie, has turned into many. Now she is juggling three men: Robbie, the ex-fiancé who abandoned her years ago, Blaze, her pretend husband, and Matthew, the reporter who she accidentally finds herself falling for.
The worst part is that, in her tangle of lies, Miranda has lost herself. Her life is hollow and empty. Her life is a façade that she has created for herself and for other people to see. So, when people look at Miranda, they don’t see her, they see who she wants them to see.
This is a wonderful novel. Debut author, Melissa Tagg, has written a book infused with the perfect balance of humor and warmth, of light moments and poignant ones. It explores the truth that our identity is not in how other people see us, or in the image of ourselves that we create for the outside world to see. Rather, our identity is found in Christ alone.
I have to add that this book almost made me cry, which never happens to me! The moment when Miranda is sitting in the church pew, surrounded by the people in her life who matter. That is a beautiful moment that brought tears to my eyes.
One last thing I must mention is little Celine, Matthew’s niece. She is a deaf little girl who speaks ASL (American Sign Language), which is something that I am eager to learn. So, when I met this little girl in the book, I instantly loved her!
Rating: 4 stars
*I received an e-copy of this book for free from Bethany House Publishers through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.*
Keep an eye out for Melissa’s next book, Here to Stay. This sequel will follow Blake (aka Blaze), who was Miranda’s pretend husband in Made to Last!