In Cherished, Kim Cash Tate tells a powerful story of forgiveness and redemption. Kelli London, the main character, wrestles with issues from her past while trying to move forward with her life. Feelings of worthlessness plague her as she makes her journey toward understanding God’s forgiveness and love.
In Cherished, Tate addresses the topics of abortion and adultery. Her portrayal leads her readers to a compassionate consideration of people who carry scars from these actions. Tate acknowledges the consequences that result from these decisions, but, throughout Cherished, she affirms 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” This message is woven into the relationships portrayed in the book.
There are many examples of healthy conflict resolution and unconditional love. Tate has a gift for writing authentic dialogue, and she uses it to convey the Gospel clearly in conversations between her characters. One of the book’s most touching scenes occurs during a Bible study Kelli has with two friends. She discovers the truth of Psalm 103:12, that her sins are removed from her as far as the east is from the west.
The book begins with Kelli’s return to her hometown, St. Louis, after finishing a master’s program on the other side of the country. She is thrilled to be reunited with her family, and she treasures new-found friendships with her sisters-in-law. Unfortunately, moving back to her childhood home has also dredged up memories Kelli would have rather left buried. Kelli struggles to understand how God could still use her gift for music after the mistakes she made in her past. She is reticent to begin writing songs again, something she abandoned after painful high school problems. In the midst of her emotional turmoil, Kelli’s ex-boyfriend reenters her life as a successful music artist and she is forced to face her past head-on. Kelli’s choice to trust that God can use anyone He chooses leads her down a road of healing and discovery.
Cherished reminded me how incredible God’s gift of salvation is. Tate affirms this truth simply in one of Kelli’s songs: “His grace and mercy have covered you, you’re not the same; no longer bound by what you used to do, that’s why He came—so you could make a change, completely new; and in His name you’re a conqueror, beloved too.”
Cherished is a love story, but it is focused much more on God’s love for His children than it is on a romance between a man and a woman. Instead of the common “how cute” glow, Cherished left me with confidence that, in Christ, I am a new creation, and God has a good plan for my life. I would suggest Cherished to anyone looking for an upgrade from the typical Christian romance novel. – Kristin Schwartz, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
Kelli London once dreamed of being a songwriter. As crazy as it seemed, she hoped that God would use the lyrics that came to her even while she slept. She dreamed about Brian too, that the love they shared as high-school students would grow into marriage. But choices that still haunt her destroyed those dreams. Until now—when a series of love letters reawakens her hope for the future.
Heather Anderson's life has spun out of control—first, an affair with a married man, then a one-night stand with the drummer of a popular Christian band has left her devastated. Broken and alone, she cried out to the only One able to save her. He met her there, but it was just the beginning. Because now she must take a different path. And the one God has planned for her looks nothing like the one she envisioned.
As Kelli and Heather awaken to their true worth, they find the freedom to pursue their dreams—and relationships—based on the security of knowing God's unconditional love.