God Doesn't Love Us All the Same

Fiction - Womens
252 Pages
Reviewed on 05/28/2014
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

NINA GUILBEAU is the Siblings Editor for BellaOnline The Voice of Women and writes weekly family articles for online magazines.

She is a member of the Florida Writer's Association and the author of women's fiction novels Too Many Sisters and Too Many Secrets. A winner of the Royal Palm Literary Award, Nina's work has been published in the short story anthologies From Our Family to Yours and Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Magic of Mothers and Daughters. An excerpt from upcoming novel Being Non-Famous was published in the Orlando Sentinel as a Father's Day tribute.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Melinda Hills for Readers' Favorite

God Doesn’t Love Us All the Same by Nina Guilbeau is a touching novel about the connection that develops between a young woman unsure about the path of her life and a homeless woman who shares her life story. Not only does Janine learn about the hardships and heartbreak Vera faced as the daughter of an African-American servant and the son of a ‘typical’ Southern aristocrat in the 1950s, she recognizes the importance of acceptance and forgiveness. Janine struggles with her attitude towards other people and is surprisingly drawn to Vera, an old woman living on the street near where Janine works. Alternately captured and repulsed by Vera’s story, Janine is continually pulled back, only to realize that she genuinely cares. Janine discovers that there are many types of love – some uplifting, some smothering – and that standing up to rejection or even just the fear of losing that love can be the most difficult thing to face.

The inequality suffered by African-Americans, especially women, is the key to this captivating story by Nina Guilbeau. God Doesn’t Love Us All the Same examines the limited options of women who were the playthings of White southern ‘gentlemen’ and what happened to them and their bi-racial children when there was no one left to take care of them. The result for some, as in Vera’s character, has been homelessness and a loss of hope when the choices made for daily living amounted to selling out. While the story is sad, even horrifying, it is ultimately uplifting and provides a ray of hope for those who can ‘stop the movie’ and make positive steps towards self-forgiveness.

C Hayes

The tears that have filled my eyes as I came to the end of this story set me in the mindset of the relationship I had with my own grandmother. She loved me unconditionally and was always there for me. This is a wonderfully penned novel that will have you going through every emotion you can possibly feel. The character development was so real, i felt as if i was right there with them fighting, and struggling to maintain.

Vera: tells her story to a young Janine in hopes that she can shed light on her own journey and not be so angry or bitter. Janine: has some deep rooted issues of her own and things nobody can love her, or that love is just not in the cards for her. The two meet and the stories begin. From the beginning your are brought in and can't wait to hear some good news, but it seems that it never comes. Will these two women be able to reconcile with their families? Will they be able to forgive and accept change in their lives?

Will Vera's daughter ever understand her plight? And can Janine forgive herself for how she treated her grandmother and isolated herself?

This was a very emotional read, grab some tissues and get ready. I recommend this to readers of all genres.

J Blue U.S G.I.R.L.S. Bo

I just completed reading "God Does Not Love Us All The Same" and I was so completely and emotionally vested (completed in 5 hours) that I am drained! When I feel this way after a read, the author has done an excellent job with characterization and bringing the book to life (for me). During the course of this read, I felt myself literally running through the fields and standing outside in the freezing cold.

This book was selected by member, Jackie for U.S. G.I.R.L.S Book Club's upcoming meeting,. The author was new to me, so I was excited to read this offering. The title is somewhat misleading because you immediately think it is a work of Christian Fiction, and may not be prepared for murder, mayhem, sex, lies and a whole lot of psychological and social issues. Fortunately, it does not take long for the author to introduce these elements to the reader.

The narrative vacillates back and forth from current to past with dream sequences interjected here and there. Since I am a self-proclaimed history buff, I would liked to have had more historical references for the time periods of each narrative for points of reference.

Overall, a very good read with resounding messages centering around family, love and redemption.

Thomas E Bloom

In this beautifully written adult version of 'A Series of Unfortunate Events', homeless Vera tells the story of her life to an apparently random stranger who learns a bit about what matters in her own life, and about how to let go of past mistakes. If someone had accurately described this book to me, I would have said I wasn't interested. If you think the same, read it anyway.

(My only criticism is that the men are all bad, and the women are all saints. I don't think this is true.)

Crystal Casavant-Otto

Have you ever walked past someone on the street and wondered “what is their story?”? I’m not just talking about homeless people (which is a theme in God Doesn’t Love Us All the Same by Nina Guilbeau, but I’m talking about people in general. I often wonder about people’s stories and their history. What does the man with the tattoos and the tattered bible do for a living? What kind of house does he live in? The woman with the partially shaven head and pink Mohawk, does her mother take issue with her “look”, or does her mother have a green Mohawk? Since I live in Wisconsin where it is cold most of the year, I don’t have an opportunity to see many homeless people. However, when I see pictures of homeless people or have come across them in my travels, I find myself wondering about them as well. My thoughts venture to the extreme fear of COULD THAT BE ME?
My own fears and observations are what drew me to God Doesn’t Love Us All the Same by Nina Guilbeau. Like myself, Janine Harris seldom thought about homeless people. She was busy living her own life until she meets Vera, an old, homeless woman who seems to need her help.

Once Janine notices and befriends Vera, she wants to know how Vera ended up in her homeless situation. Vera shares her story and the two are forever changed by their new found knowledge, understanding and friendship. The lesson in the end is about self-forgiveness, but the path to that lesson is a lesson in itself. Guilbeau’s characters are richly written and God Doesn’t Love Us All the Same is an emotion filled read full of laughter, tears, sorrow, and understanding.

Just as Janine finds herself changed by her friendship, I felt changed as I finished the final chapter. I enjoyed everything about God Doesn’t Love Us All the Same and I am richly blessed to have “met” both Janine and Vera. This is a great read for anyone (regardless of your favorite genre). Thank you Nina Guilbeau for sharing your writing talents and bringing Janine and Vera into the lives and homes of your readers!