Becky Sawyer’s life unravels in a single day. Not only does she catch her boyfriend, the man she hoped to marry, lip-locked with another woman, she also receives the gut-wrenching news that her grandfather, the man who raised her, is dying. His last wish? To see her happily married. Heartbroken, Becky seeks inspiration in the pages of the Holy Scriptures. And finds it in the story of Isaac and Rebekah.
If love couldn't keep his parents together, Luke Masterson wonders what will make a marriage last. He decides to steer clear of all women—especially crazy ones like Becky Sawyer, who employs a friend to find her a husband. But when he feels the dogged promptings of the Holy Spirit to move across the country and marry a complete stranger, it seems love has little to do with it anyway.
With commitment their only foundation, and love constantly thwarted, can an arranged marriage find happiness in the twenty-first century?
Mikal Hermanns on Goodreads wrote:
"The Isaac Project" is an incredibly charming contemporary romance between a woman at the end of her rope and a man who makes a life-changing choice.
Luke… I must confess. I have a bit of a book crush on Luke. Once he sets his mind to something, he doesn’t let anything get in his way! Even before he realizes his feelings for Becky, he is determined to woo her. His exquisite yet manly tenderness with her is palpable and brought tears to my eyes more than once. I thought that the times he was working things out with God, especially before he agreed to the marriage, were very realistic. Sarah also does a fantastic job of channeling a “guy voice” for his thoughts and perspective. Cracked me up several times at how much like a guy he sounded, something that’s missing sometimes in chick books.
And Becky. My heart ached for Becky. I’ve been her, emotionally, and even though I wanted to reach into the book and shake some sense into her more than a couple of times… I got it. It was a privilege to watch her character blossom and blush and flourish under Luke’s care while still maintaining the strong qualities that made her “her”. The strength in her spirit serves her well in the end, and I was so thankful that Sarah didn’t take that away from Becky as the character matured throughout the book.
Bottom Line: These characters got to me & this book touched my heart. The dual first person narrative adds a wonderful depth of personality and makes for a delightful perspective to the character’s thoughts. Especially Luke’s. *dreamy sigh* (You had to know that was coming!) In addition a unique premise, a solid plot, and a charming writing voice combine with a dash of suspense to ensure a truly enjoyable experience for readers. Sarah Monzon is a fun new voice in contemporary Christian fiction, and I for one look forward to more from her in the future! If you love reading books by Katie Ganshert, Varina Denman, and Becky Wade… you will love The Isaac Project too!
Becky and Luke. Sigh.
These two are a match made in heaven. Literally. When we first meet Becky, she’s joyful, optimistic, and in love. That doesn’t last long. At all. And it’s when her boyfriend is caught cheating on her that her insecurities—ones that I think a lot of us women can relate to—really come out. Through heartache, misunderstanding, and pride—yep, that nasty thing—Becky has such a beautiful character arc and growth that results in breaking down that wall of pride. There were a few times I wanted to throttle her, but more because I’ve been where she is and I know how it turns out. Thankfully, by the end of the book, so does she.
Luke. Well, I have a crush on him. Gotta be honest. He really opens himself up to God’s direction, and while he has hesitations, he trusts in the Lord and makes a commitment he’s determined to stand by. His arc isn’t as focused upon, though we’re often in his point of view and it’s a beautiful thing. He has his own faults, but they don’t play as large a part in this story as Becky’s does. Luke’s story more surrounds his attempt to show his wife love—even before he realizes he loves her. He’s a pretty swoon-worthy man, I tell you.
Sarah Monzon has done an incredible job in her debut novel! She has excellent tension between two loveable characters, Luke and Becky, has protagonists (which don’t always need to be people) that move the story along at a good pace, and a well-developed plot. While the premise seems a little far-fetched in this day and age at first thought, when you read the book, it actually isn’t that far-fetched at all (and it’s something my husband and I have often talked about with regards to our own kids…LOL!). More than anything, it highlights that marriage isn’t about the feeling of love, but the commitment of love, something that will hold a marriage together through thick and thin.
I highly recommend reading this book. At first, you may need to suspend some belief to understand the premise (I personally didn’t, but some of you might), but isn’t that what fiction is anyway? A suspension of belief? Besides…I can see this happening and working out when both people are really committed.
As An Aside:
Would I do it? I want to say “no,” but honestly…in a way, I kind of did. While my husband and I met online on our own, we were “matched” together. We did talk on the phone a lot, but we only saw each other twice before our wedding (our third time in person together). We knew each other more than Luke and Becky, sure, but it was still a ginormous step of faith. So, would I do this? Would I involve myself in The Isaac Project? It would take a lot of faith—even more so than when I met and married my husband (by the way, that was over nine years ago, and we’re more in love today than even then!)—but if it’s what God asked me to do, yes. I would do it.