(Book Review) Mother of Pearl

Mother of PearlReviewed by: Cindy Akre, homeschool tutor and freelance blogger


Title: Mother of Pearl

Author: Kellie Coates Gilbert

Publisher: Abingdon Press

Publication Date: September 2012

Format: Print Book

Length: 300 Pages


The book is a gripping novel, capturing the reader’s attention almost immediately, as we enter the world of high school guidance counselor, Barrie Graeber. The novel opens by introducing the reader to the challenges of counseling teens trying to navigate today’s waters of life. Barrie has two children of her own, a daughter named Pearl, and a son, Aaron. She is very happily married, but it is clear early on that she has little trust in the Christian faith. She is not necessarily hostile, but is one who just doesn’t believe faith is necessary to go through the ups and downs of life. Those notions are met head on in an amazing way as Barrie’s family walks through a devastating set of circumstances. Some interesting relationships are fleshed out, in particular with a Christian couple who have a lasting impact on both Barrie and her husband, Steve.

Since the book jacket does not give details, it would be unfair to give away the major plot in this novel; however, it is riveting in its themes, exploring the difficulties of dealing with tumultuous times within the family. The novel pulls no punches, realistically painting life as it is in Barrie’s family leading us to connect the dots between Barrie’s situation and ours when we choose to take a stand with potentially explosive consequences. It is captivating in its exploration of the issues raised and possible pre-judgments made on our part as readers. In that respect, the book reminds us that things aren’t always what they appear. It also covers a topic rarely written about in fiction, which gives us a chance to reflect on our personal feelings in a non-threatening way.


Rating (1 to 5)

4.5 out of 5

Suggested Audience

The suggested audience would be adult. Though the themes could be sadly recognizable by a younger audience, it seems more likely that an older audience would learn more about this topic and be more able to understand the issues involved.

Christian Impact

Very high.

Other Notes

On a personal, optional note, I could not put this book down once I began it. Because the topic is not commonly written about, it was a refreshing read, challenging my own pre-conceived ideas. I wrote the author and told her I would never look at the media coverage of these themes again. A great read!!!

Cindy is an avid Christian fiction and non-fiction reader, and has been part of a book discussion for over 10 years. She is also a Homeschool tutor and freelance blogger.

Interested in reviewing a book, movie, album, or other type of media for our website? We would love to hear from you! Find out more about how to submit media reviews.

About ECLA Web Team

The Evangelical Church Library Association, founded in 1970, is a fellowship of Christian churches, schools, and individuals. This account is managed by the ECLA Web Team.

No comments yet... Be the first to leave a reply!

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: