by Jennifer Rodewald
Best Friends—maybe more—until addiction shatters everything.
Childhood sweethearts reunite, but Andrew is not the boy he had been, and Jamie hasn’t changed. Their connection, however, outlasts time and offense.
Loyalty, love, and then betrayal….For Jamie, one thing becomes clear: Andy needs a savior, and she cannot be it. Will Andrew allow the hand of grace to redeem his legacy of addiction, or will he and Jamie remain the casualties of heartbreak?
“Delicate. Humorous. And plumbing the depths of God’s redeeming power. Blue Columbine definitely fulfills Rodewald’s mission statement, ‘Words that edify. Stories that glorify the King.’ Prepare to be inspired and challenged.”
“A poignant and transformational book. Jennifer Rodewald deals with hard issues in her debut novel, and does it with beautiful writing and memorable characters.”
“This book does not disappoint. Instead, it takes you through the emotional upheaval of loving someone with a problem you can’t solve – and let’s you witness the glory of the One who can.”
CIR: What inspired this story?
RODEWALD: I’m not sure there’s one single, straight shot answer to that. The story unfolded in my mind and I was compelled to write it. I’ve had several years to look back and wonder, “Why this story?” since it first gripped me. Looking at it from hindsight, I think God was pouring truth into me through this book. I was at a point in my life when I was praying for loved ones…and losing hope. I see now that God was teaching me that nothing is beyond His reach. I needed to see that, to believe it again.
CIR: Given the subject matter, what was the hardest part of writing this story?
RODEWALD: This is a tough one, because the greatest difficulty didn’t come during the writing part. The hardest thing was taking in the amount of very strong negative reactions to Andrew as a Christian fiction character during the critiquing stage of the novel. Andrew’s a mess. An alcoholic in denial, angry at life and at God, selfish, and overall just not pretty. I knew that, but I didn’t expect to have vehement reactions insisting that such a character did not belong in Christian fiction. One comment labeled him “unredeemable.” That broke my heart, because as I shared before, God reminded me through this story that no one is beyond the Hand of Grace. I think it’s important that sometimes Christian fiction confirms that truth, even if it means starting with messy characters.
CIR: Help us understand Andrew better.
RODEWALD: Andrew Harris insists on living on his own terms. Angry because of life’s injustices, he is determined that failure will not cross his path again. He is also adamant that he is not an alcoholic. When he reunites with Jamie Carson, finding her to be rooted in the faith they’d grown up with, and every bit as sweet and lovely as he remembered, he is plunged into an emotional whirlwind. Guilt, a longing to be better, frustration that he is not enough, and a rekindled love for his childhood sweetheart all swirl inside with maddening strength. But for all his faults, he is still loyal, supportive, and generous when he wants to be—all qualities that keep Jamie’s attention and devotion. Which keeps their close friendship—edging on more than friendship—complicated, to say the least.
CIR: What would you compare this book to?
RODEWALD: One of the more recent releases that I would compare Blue Columbine to would be Sally Bradley’s Kept. Both are what I would call “Christian fiction meets reality” stories, laced with redemptive love and real hope.
CIR: And is that the main message of your story? Redemption and hope?
RODEWALD: NO ONE is beyond redemption. No one. I know I need to know that because I love some messy people. God showed me through this book that my prayers do not go unheard, that His hand is more powerful than I give Him credit for, and His time and storyline are not necessarily mine. Also, Jesus saves. From white lies to powerful addictions, Jesus saves the lost, washes sin completely clean, and offers new life with real hope.
Learn more about Jennifer Rodewald and her writing at www.authorjenrodewald.com