The first book I finished this year was And the Shofar Blew by Francine Rivers. I have read her books before, and when I saw this one in the thrift store here, I picked it up.
The novel follows the story of a young preacher and his family who move to a struggling congregation and turn it around. The preacher grew up in the shadow of his famous televangelist father, while his wife grew up in a small country church. Over the course of many years, the church grows, and the pressure on the young family brings it to the breaking point.
This book had fairly realistic characters and events. Growing up going to church and having friends of many different beliefs, I have known people with similar life stories to the ones played out in this novel, which made it difficult to read at times. Overall, this was a thought provoking and emotional book for me, one which I may or may not reread.