A journey often begins without foreknowledge and leads to places unimagined. It is the fall of 1999, and poised at the edge of the new millenium stands and introverted girl, one who might have found an earlier century a better fit. College junior Annie Healey is bright, opinionated and decidedly old-fashioned in all ways but one: religion. An avowed atheist, Annie thinks religious faith is obsolete.
As part of an assignment for her Comparative Religion class, Annie attends services at a local Orthodox Church. There she meets Anna, an elderly Russian woman, and is mysteriously compelled to seek her company. From their very first encounter Annie suspects that there is something extraordinary about Anna and is determined to discover what it is. Led backward into the history of Anna’s life, and pushed forward by pressing conflicts in her own, Annie is propelled along the path of discovery and transformation, in part by a revealing icon of the Mother of God. In the process of finding out the moving truth about the old woman, Annie surprisingly discovers the truth about herself.
Unexpected Joy takes you on a journey that you won’t want to end. It’s a small story full of heart and endearing characters so real you’ll find they’ve entered your life and joined your own circle of friends. Cheryl Tuggle writes in a straightforward and sincere style, flawlessly interfacing the realities of contemporary life with wisdom from a bygone era.
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