Everything is Just Beginning by Erin Bartels

Everything is Just Beginning by author Erin Bartels is a contemporary Christian fiction book. It is a unique tale that will stay in your mind and linger long after you have finished the book. It has the right elements for a Hallmark movie.

Set in Detroit in the late 1980s, this is the story of Michael Sullivan, an angry young man. He’s had a not so happy childhood being raised by a single mother. In his mind, life has cheated him of a father among other things. Michael plays in a band with people who would rather he find another band. He has dreams of making it big one day.

He lives with his Uncle Mike, and goes to a party across from where he lives. It is at the Wheelers’ house. Deb Wheeler, is a famous singer and Dusty, her husband, a well-regarded producer in the music industry. They have a blind daughter, Natalie, who is also very talented. I adored Deb. She was a faith-filled woman and ready to be used as God’s vessel.

This is a poignant story of faith, love, forgiveness, hope, and second chances. It has a strong message of family, redemption, and God. The Christian message is woven brilliantly throughout the novel. I loved the author’s style of writing. The characters were multi-layered and realistic. Each were well described, which made it easy to picture them. The voice of Michael was so vividly portrayed that I could easily imagine it and him.

I loved the moral values of the main characters. It is refreshing to read a Christian book with those. The music was intriguing and added a lot to the story.  It was beautiful. One thing I did not like was the frequent “drinking” they did. Another thing was the lack of faith of one character.

After a slow start, I became invested in this enchanting story and had trouble putting the book down. I was captivated by the storylines. There were a few twists and turns that kept me on my toes. This is a wonderful book. I would definitely recommend it. It get a 4 star rating from me. A copy was provided by NetGalley, but these are my own true words.

About the Book

An Immersive Story of Music, Struggle, and Starting Over from an Award-Winning Author

Michael Sullivan is a talented lyricist and a decent guitarist, but since he was kicked out of his band (and his apartment), he’s not sure he’ll ever get a record deal. Living with his loser uncle in a beat-up trailer and working a dead-end job, Michael has little reason to hope for a better future. Until the invitation for a swanky New Year’s Eve party shows up in the mailbox. It’s for his uncle, with whom he shares his name, but his uncle is going out of town . . . 

On the effervescent night of December 31, 1989–as the Berlin Wall is coming down, the Soviet Union is inching toward democracy, and anything seems possible–Michael will cross paths with the accomplished and enigmatic young heir to a fading musical dynasty, forever altering both of their futures. 

Award-winning novelist Erin Bartels enchants with this story of two lonely souls who have exactly what the other one needs–if they could simply turn their focus from what is ending to what is just beginning.

Meet the Author

ERIN BARTELS is the award-winning author of We Hope for Better Things, The Words between Us, All That We Carried, and The Girl Who Could Breathe Under Water. Her short story “This Elegant Ruin” was a finalist in The Saturday Evening Post 2014 Great American Fiction Contest and her poetry has been published by The Lyric. She lives in the capital city of a state that is 40% water, nestled somewhere between angry protesters on the Capitol lawn and couch-burning frat boys at Michigan State University. And yet, she claims it is really quite peaceful.

You can find her on Instagram @erinbartelswrites and Facebook @ErinBartelsAuthor.

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