9 October 2013

ARCBA Review: The Inheritance by Jo-Anne Berthelsen

7 - 11 October
(Even Before Publishing September 2013)
Jo-Anne Berthelsen

About the Book:

Michael Trevelyan is determined to claim his inheritance at all costs. Bitterness consumes him and he refuses to forgive those who have betrayed him. Yet, when he meets Alexandra Hope, things begin to change. She challenges his views but also listens while he shares his pain. Can Michael move on from the past and learn to forgive? Can Alexandra hold onto her faith in God as she deals with their deepening relationship? Can they both learn to trust each other - and God? The Inheritance is a stirring story of family secrets, forgiveness and faith - of leaving behind a dark, painful legacy and walking into the light of God's eternal inheritance. 

About the Author:

Jo-Anne Berthelsen lives in Sydney but grew up in Brisbane. She holds degrees in Arts and Theology and has worked as a high school teacher, editor and secretary, as well as in local church ministry. Jo-Anne loves communicating through both the written and spoken word. She is the author of five published novels – Heléna, All the Days of My Life, Laura, Jenna and Heléna’s Legacy, with a sixth, The Inheritance, due for release in 2013. Her first non-fiction work Soul Friend: The story of a shared spiritual journey was released in October 2012. Jo-Anne loves music, reading, mentoring younger women, and sharing with community groups about writing. She is married to a retired minister and has three grown-up children and three grandchildren. 

For more information, please visit www.jo-anneberthelsen.com or www.soulfriend.com.au.


My Review

Michael Trevelyan is thirty-four and a successful orthopaedic surgeon, but still hasn’t forgiven his mother (or himself) for the accident that killed his sister when he was a teenager, and his mother’s deathbed revelation makes forgiveness even less likely. He will inherit Whitecross, the family estate near Winchester, England, but if he doesn’t live there, it will go to his younger brother, Geoffrey, a Christian do-gooder who will turn it into a half-way house.

Dr Alexandra Hope is the locum GP for Cranton while her father takes a holiday and she waits for her Ethiopian visa to arrive—she’s planning on being a medical missionary. She meets Justine Trevelyan and her son, and develops relationships with both as the story progresses.

While the story and characters in The Inheritance had potential, I don’t entirely think they delivered on that promise. I didn’t ever get the sense that Michael had fully come to grips with the implications of his mother’s revelation, and while his character underwent a great deal of emotional and spiritual change and maturation during the story, I never saw it happening. Rather, it simply appeared at some point as having happened.

I also found Alexandra’s story was missing something, particularly in the later portions of the book where she disappeared entirely. This was a shame, as she was a strong and likeable character who had a great impact on others. There were some factual errors and timing inconsistencies that I found distracting, as well as some annoying creative dialogue tags and excessive punctuation (I don’t like the use of italics for emphasis, and exclamation marks only make it worse!).

Thanks to Even Before for providing a free ebook for review. You can find out more about Jo-Anne Berthelsen at her website.

If you’d like to buy the book or Kindle edition, you can follow the links above to purchase at Amazon.com. Those Down Under can buy from Koorong (Australia) or Soul Inspirationz (New Zealand). Koorong also sells epub editions.

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