Review of Love Starts With Elle

Once again Rachel Hauck has delivered a moving and tender story of love. Love Starts with Elle is a love story at many different levels, not just between a man and a woman. Elle finds herself engaged and flipping her life upside down to follow her fiancé, Jeremiah, to his new church in Texas. A pastor with big dreams for his ministry, he wants Elle to be his partner in this ministry. Ignoring little warning signs, Elle dives in and prepares to move with Jeremiah to Texas. As their wedding date draws closer, the pressures of this new life together begin to expose serious character flaws in Jeremiah.

As the story progresses, Elle begins to make spending time with God a priority to try to make sense of her life. In my opinion, this is where the deepest part of the love story takes place. She begins to know God in a more authentic way than she ever has before and her heart begins to change. Elle sees love much differently than before, but will she make the right choices?

After reading this book and reflecting back on the story, I’m struck by the quiet contrast of a healthy love and a self-serving love. A healthy love encourages and uplifts for the benefit of the receiving person, while a self-serving love only acts for personal gain. The only way that we can really learn to give and receive love honestly is to receive it from God openly and honestly, and to love God back with the same abandon.

Love Starts with Elle is a book that I will not soon forget. It’s filled with memorable characters, beautiful southern settings, and a strong story line. Most importantly, it has eye opening spiritual truths subtly layered into the story that challenge the reader to want more of God and to push past fears and insecurities. Love Starts with Elle is one of my favorites for 2008!

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