In This Moment
The Baxter Family - A Novel
This book can be downloaded and read in Apple Books on your Mac or iOS device.
From #1 New York Times bestselling author Karen Kingsbury comes an inspiring Baxter Family novel about a beloved high school principal who starts a Bible Study to improve the lives of his struggling students, only to become the national focus of a controversial lawsuit.
Hamilton High Principal Wendell Quinn wants to see real change in his community, so he starts a voluntary after-school Bible Study and prayer program called Raise the Bar. He knows he is risking his job by leading the program, but before long, Raise the Bar meetings are standing room only.
A year later, violence and gang activity are sharply down, test scores are up, and drug use and teen pregnancy have plummeted. The program is clearly working—until one parent files a lawsuit, claiming Wendell has violated his daughter's rights.
But Principal Quinn knows God is on his side, and he refuses to back down. As he prepares for court, he is deluged by a storm of national attention and criticism. He wants just one attorney on his side in the fight of his life—Luke Baxter.
A timely and nuanced exploration of religious freedom and what it means to be a person of faith in today’s culture, In This Moment will satisfy Kingsbury fans, old and new.
In This Moment
Christian Fiction is a genre that does not appeal to everyone. In my opinion, Karen Kingsbury is the Queen and I look forward to each of her books because they always hold a lesson I need at the time.
In the latest novel from Kingsbury, Hamilton High Principal Wendell Quinn is tired of the violence, drug abuse, teen pregnancies, and low expectations at his Indianapolis school. He wants to see change, so he starts a voluntary after-school Bible Study and prayer program. He knows he is risking his job by leading the program, but the high turnout at every meeting encourages him. A year later things at the school are clearly better, the program doing well—until one parent calls the press.
In This Moment focuses on Wendell’s court case and fight for religious freedom with his lawyer … can you guess who? Luke Baxter, of course. This is a Baxter novel after all 😊 There is no need to read the previous Baxter novels before reading this one. In This Moment begins with an introduction to the family. You’ll see brief updates about the family throughout, but it’s done well and readers who aren’t familiar won’t feel lost.
I found Wendell’s case interesting as it explored a subject matter I’ve never really considered before. I found the story surrounding the parent who called police believable and heartbreaking. However, I found the solutions to each these matters to come too fast, to be anti-climactic. I wanted something else, but I’m not sure what.
What lesson did I find in the pages of In This Moment? If not me, then who? This is the question that Wendell asks himself often and it’s what I wonder now after finishing the book. If there’s something I feel I’m being called to do – If not me, then who? The message for me is to listen, do what God asks no matter how scary that task sounds.
Even though the conclusion of In This Moment didn’t completely grab me, the message I walk away with in my heart is what makes this book.
If you’ve read Karen’s Angels Walking series, see if you can spot the appearance by one of its angels 😊
Advanced copy of In This Moment provided by NetGalley.
UPDATE - November 13, 2017 ... I decided to re-read In This Moment after being told Karen made significant changes to the story between the NetGalley copy I read and the finished product.
While there were changes, nothing changed enough to alter my feelings, so my 4-star rating stands. I mentioned a couple of things in my previous review that did change and I'll chat about them now.
The Baxter recap was moved from the very beginning to the end. The text didn't change, only the location, so first time readers of the Baxters can still get a quick look at the family.
What I learned from this book, the "If not me, then who?" statement. It was more appropriately changed in the final copy to "What can I do in this moment?" Fits better with the book title, right? Same lesson I mentioned before still applies. No matter how the question was worded, it still had an impact on me.
There were a few things that stood out to me during this second reading. One, the expanding of Alicia's story, which I thought this was done well and added depth to that part of the story. Two, the statement "You told us hurt people hurt people ..." It struck me how true this was. How it is human nature to strike out at those around you when you're hurting. Finally, Wendell's reason behind starting the Bible Study was ultimately to help his students. Students that didn't have family support at home. Wendell wanted to give them a safe place to come, a support system and he did that with the Raise the Bar program.
26th book in The Baxter Family series
In This Moment by Karen Kingsbury is part of The Baxter Family series. Wendell Quinn is the principal of Hamilton High School and he is tired of what is happening in his school (drugs, violence, high teen pregnancy). Wendell is going to start a controversial after school program that could cost him his job. Wendell is a Christian and has decided to start a voluntary after-school Bible study and prayer group. After one year, Wendell has seen many changes to his school. Test scores are up, teen pregnancies and violence are down along with violence and drug use. The biggest change is in Cami Nelson. She is no longer angry, she believes in God and has discovered a love of writing. Wendell tells the parents about the program and Andy Nelson, Cami’s father, is not pleased. He contacts the local newspaper and files a lawsuit against Wendell. Wendell needs to make a choice. Stand up for what he believes in (what is best for his students) and fight the lawsuit or cave into pressure and disband the group. Wendell decides to fight and hires Luke Baxter to defend him. Can Wendell win the lawsuit, or will he lose everything?
In This Moment has some nice writing and a decent pace. I did not realize In This Moment was part of such a large series until I opened the book. I had trouble reading the sections about Luke Baxter and his extended family. There are numerous family members and I was not aware of their various relationships and backstories (it was confusing). The Baxter family is not heavily featured in this book (fair warning to fans of the series). I found Wendell Quinn courageous for standing up for what he believes in and trying to improve the lives of others. Wendell trusts that God will get him through any situation (which He can) and his vocal about his beliefs. The story, though, is expected. It follows a predictable path with an unoriginal ending. The religious aspect is dominant and comes across as preachy. You can tell where the author stands on the issues presented in the book. I hope that there are people like Wendell Quinn out in the world, but I have never meet a person like him (or any of the people in the book). The characters felt forced (contrived, fake) and many situations seemed unrealistic. I am giving In This Moment 3 out of 5 stars.
- Category: Religious
- Published: Nov 07, 2017
- Publisher: Howard Books
- Seller: SIMON AND SCHUSTER DIGITAL SALES INC
- Print Length: 400 Pages
- Language: English
- Series: The Baxter Family