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Phoebe and the Rock of Ages: The Gustafson Girls Book 3 (Christian Fiction Series) by [Doughty, Becky]
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Phoebe and the Rock of Ages: The Gustafson Girls Book 3 (Christian Fiction Series) Kindle Edition

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Length: 271 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled Language: English
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A wild child. A Jesus freak. What will happen when their worlds collide?

Phoebe Gustafson has been running wild her whole life. A gifted artist, she portrays people and places the way she wishes they were, not the way she really sees them. Her jaded perspective is born out of disillusionment, betrayal, and loss, and of memories too painful to dwell on. Rather than face the past, Phoebe charges full throttle into the future, never investing in anything or anyone for longer than it takes to finish a job.

When a family emergency and the charming, unconventional Jesus freak, Trevor Zander, converge on her life at the same time, will Phoebe find the courage to remove her blinders and discolored filters so she can truly see life, and love--and herself--the way they really are?

When Paul and Simone Gustafson are killed by a drunk driver, the lives of their daughters change irrevocably. Although raised by loving grandparents, it's the G-FOURce--the Gustafson Four Sisters Club--that binds them together when their differences would tear them apart. All grown up now, Juliette has become the quintessential doormat, Renata, the self-appointed matriarchal figure. Phoebe is, at least according to Renata, borderline narcissistic, and Gia is on the verge of a major identity crisis.

Then there's Angela Clinton, the senior class darling who drove her cherry black 1970 el Camino into the side of their parents' car on the night of Juliette's high school graduation. Angela's prison sentence is winding down; soon she'll be eligible for parole and moving back to town. Will the G-FOURce be strong enough to hold them together as they step into the eye of the storm that's been brewing for the last fifteen years? Will they finally be able to let go of the past and embrace the future, no matter what it holds?

Note: The Gustafson Girls series is Women's Fiction/Christian Romance written from a Christian world view.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1370 KB
  • Print Length: 271 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: BraveHearts Press (24 June 2016)
  • Sold by: Amazon Australia Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01EH3I1OM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #308,305 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program) 4.8 out of 5 stars 93 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Oh no....not another cliff hanger!! Sigh... 2 September 2016
By Joleen - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
There are 4 sister...Gustavson sisters, who have a secret society (tongue in cheek) called the G-FORCE which meets regularly, to keep in touch, and irregularly whenever there's an important issue to resolve together. Phoebe is one of the sisters...the different one...the one who has resisted God all her life and who has decided to go completely opposite to her family, at the shame of some, and at the concern of all.
At first there seemed to be no reason for it, other than rebellion, however, two really bad events in her life cinch her distaste for all things God.
A young man she met during this time made it so much worse with his self-righteous rebuke.

Present day, this man comes back into her life a changed man, stunned to finally meet the young girl who changed his life with her reaction to his rebuke so many years ago, and tries everything to make amends.

So...sounds good, right? Oh, let me tell you, it's even better than that!
The writing, incredible.
The plot, amazing.
The characters, impeccable.

I was so loving the growth and lessons in each person's life, and the lovely way the author shared the gospel and faith issues without that "in your face" way many Christian authors do, and without the obligatory prayer or church things thrown in just to give it a Christian fiction title. This was well fact VERY well done. One of my favorite books this year...until the end...explanation below.

Okay, spoiler, just so you know. So if you intend to read this one and decide to read this to the next, don't read on.

Phoebe had two things happen...parents were killed in a car crash with a drunk teenager who survived and has been in prison for like, 15 years, for vehicular manslaughter I think, and has just been released.
Second, in her grief after her parent's death (she was 16), she was at a party taking photos when she was ushered into a room for some reason, the door was locked behind her and she was raped, resulting in pregnancy. Through some pretty skilled ways, she managed to keep it all a secret, went off to a "farm" for the summer on a "work program", had the baby, and gave it up for adoption, making it back home in time for school with a new in-shape body.
Flash forward, Phoebe is a successful artist and photographer who has had problems all her life with trust issues, loneliness, and still hating all things God. The contact and updates she had with the adoptive parents stopped, so she's left forever wondering. At each birth her sister has, she's sent on a tail spin of drinking and sleeping, and this last one was pretty bad.
Plus the self-righteous youth worker that was so awful to her when she was pregnant is trying to make amends and things are going pretty well. At the end she's meeting the mother of her parents' killer and the suspense of that is cool, and you think it may have some serious significance, and maybe it has something to do with the adoptive parents of her child...and you're waiting to see what this was all about...and...
It ends. Ugh!
I can do a series about the four sisters, let each have their own story as a stand alone book, write amazing books about each of them, which this was, and still give the puzzle all the pieces!!
If you don't mind it, and intend to buy the books, I say do it! Good writing! It really gripped me.

Edit to my review...
Chatting with the author about this cliffhanger, it seems as though there was no good way to end the book. Critical information coming up next couldn't fit in without making the book way too long. The two stories were too closely linked.
So I've revised my harsh review. I've just run across too many books with no ending that I didn't want to let it go.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Free spirited Phoebe finds she needs to confront past issues to have true freedom. 28 August 2016
By j.r. - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
have not read previous books in this series, though I do think I have at least one of them in my reading list. I was a bit lost as far as how the two older sisters met the men in their lives but other than that, I could read this one without any issues, even though I didn't have the background.

Trevor Zander is a musician/singer who has a vision for a new album. He wants to speak to the Believers and have them realize, as he has, that being a Christian does not mean that you are better than those who are not, it just means that you have a God who can direct your steps and make you better. As a youngster, Trevor's holier-than-thou attitude as a youth minister intern turned away a young girl who had come seeking help. Her words to him that day transformed him into a more humble person.

Phoebe Gustafson is a free spirit who puts on a front for the world and tends to run away from anything she doesn't want to confront. Her sister Renata's pregnancy and delivery stir up some old memories that cause Phoebe to withdraw from everyone, but she is tired of running. She just has no clue how to stop running.

This book brings up some good talking points:
-We don't need to wait until we're together or perfect to come to God. He'll take us just as we are.
-Forgiveness. It doesn't necessarily mean forgetting, but it does allow you to move on.
just to name a couple.

I did not like how this book ends. The author does a big build up to Phoebe meeting Alice Masters, the mother of the woman who killed the Gustafson parents, but then the book ends before that happens. I felt cheated.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 4.6 stars: Phoebe and the Rock of Ages by Becky Doughty 16 July 2016
By R. Miller - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Phoebe and Trevor meet at a gas station, and learn they not only know who the other is now, but they actually had a pretty terrible encounter years ago.

(Though reviews are inherently subjective, I prefer to provide some organization to my opinions through the use of a personal rubric. The following notes may contain spoilers.)

Plot and Setting: 4 -- Plot has unique elements and no major holes, but a few shaky bits and/or a slight lack of focus. Plot points in sub-plots are dropped or not resolved. For the most part, the story is unique, well paced, and poignant. Then there's the last chapter, which is a weirdly separate entity that brings more questions than answers and really feels out of place. I would've preferred more wrap-up details for the main plot--like, how does Phoebe's new faith impact her art and photography, more about the series of paintings she started, etc--rather than this unfinished bit that is, apparently, mainly leading into the plot of book 4. Setting is clear, believable, and consistent.

Characters: 5 -- Relatable, realistic, interesting, dynamic characters. Even minor characters have depth, as do the relationships between characters. Wow. So much to love about the characters and their relationships in this one! I love Trevor for the passion and frankness in his faith and life, and Phoebe for her aching, artistic heart. I also really enjoyed seeing Renata from Phoebe's perspective, how she's changed since really knowing God, and the strengths and weaknesses of her 2 marriages. The accountability between Trevor and Victor (and Juliette) is beautiful. I'm also a fan of everyone's reactions to Charise. :)

Mechanics and Writing: 4 -- Scattered typos, punctuation issues, and word errors, including a few major mistakes. More errors in this one than in the previous books, which is disappointing. In addition to typos, there's some trouble with reckoning time/ages. One flashback section is headed "four years ago" when it should be fourteen, or actually thirteen. We also see mention that Trevor is nearly 30, when in reality it would be Phoebe who is 29, and Trevor is several years older, since she was 16 in the flashbacks, and he was a new college grad (which puts him at 21 or 22 then, and 35 or 36 now). Intelligent use of POV, with longish sections of Phoebe and Trevor as each story took precedence. Skillful writing that adds to the story.

Redeeming Value: 5 -- Well-developed, central, uplifting themes. Phoebe releases a major secret and finds peace due to the loving reactions of those around her. Trevor is working on an album about stepping away from legalistic Christianity to acknowledging how reliant on grace we all are, and this is something he has learned himself. Sex, alcohol, violence, etc, are not glorified at all. We hear about Phoebe's partying in high school, which included drinking and smoking pot, and how she was raped, and how she still gets drunk and puts on a show of sexiness, even when she doesn't feel like it. We also hear about Trevor's struggles with pornography. But all of these things are seen as harmful, and things that we need to rely on God's grace to step away from.

Personal Enjoyment: 5 -- I loved it. It made me feel in all the best ways, and leaves me content and satisfied. One I'll definitely read again.
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing addition to the Gustafson saga! 5 May 2017
By wyrtwizard - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Phoebe and the Rock of Ages is the third volume in the Gustafson Girls series. After the twists in volume 2 (Renata and the Fall from Grace: The Gustafson Girls Book 2 (Christian Fiction Series)), I wondered how the next episode would be able to follow those dramatic events, but Phoebe does not disappoint. This volume is probably the most intimate thus far in the series; you almost feel like you are watching through a crack in the wall as Phoebe works through the situations she finds herself in. Phoebe was not depicted in the most flattering light in the first two volumes, but here we get to know her much better and understand why she sometimes acted the way she did. Of the first three books, this one has been my favorite thus far.

This story is narrated alternately by Phoebe and by a male character we met before in the series. I enjoyed getting to see the perspectives and growth of both characters. Sometimes the plot twists that brought them together seemed a bit contrived, but it was easy to overlook that and just enjoy the story. The characters actually commented themselves on the unlikely coincidences as a demonstration of the power of God's plans.

I appreciated knowing the background from the previous two volumes, but Phoebe and the Rock of Ages also stands on its own as a wonderful novel with strong, believable characters. I can't wait to see what happens in the next volume about Gia, the youngest Gustafson sister! Hopefully there will be even more stories set in this world - I would love to read Angela's story and Lily's story.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A self proclaimed Jesus freak and a free spirit how will they get along? 29 June 2016
By Carol - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Wow, what an emotionally intense book. Phoebe's story explains a lot about her actions and attitudes, and why she continues to fight God's coaxing to trust in Him, Phoebe doesn't trust easily, those that she does trust either leave or disappoint her. Trevor comes into her life and Phoebe has mixed feelings about him, she is attracted to him but Trevor lives his faith for all to see, and that does not fit Phoebe's lifestyle.. There are some surprises along the way and there are moments you will want to laugh and some where you will want to cry. An amazing read that shows God's love and how seemingly unrelated events in our lives lead us to where we have the opportunity to find His plan for us . I received a free review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review and I also purchased a kindle copy after release.