Character Interview: Charlotte Davis from Jerusha Agen’s This Redeemer
This week’s guest is Charlotte Davis who is the heroine of Jerusha Agen’s This Redeemer, the third book in The Sisters Redeemed series.
Charlotte, for those who have been reading the series, your story is a little different from Nye’s and Oriana’s stories. You grew up in a different world than they did. Would you tell us about your life, where you lived, and what brought you to Pennsylvania from Texas?
I’d say I was raised in Texas, but since I pretty much raised myself, that wouldn’t exactly be true. I was born in Dallas and grew up there, mostly fending for myself and trying to stay out of Momma’s way. You’re right when you say I grew up in a different world than Oriana and Nye. I sometimes think it was a different planet. Even they admit they were really blessed.
They had a loving mom and dad, but I only had Momma, and she was too drunk most of the time to know I even existed (those were really the best days, since it was worse when she noticed me). Nye and Oriana grew up spoiled rotten, too. Well, they were at least filthy rich. I’d never seen a house as nice as their parents’ place in real life before.
I never thought I’d leave Tommy, my boyfriend, and I sure never thought I’d get out of Texas. Tommy can get mean sometimes, and I’m used to that, but when he started on my baby girl, I knew I had to get her out of there, away from him. The only place I could think of to go was the home of a stranger in Pennsylvania Momma told me about before she died. He owed me big time, and I wanted to collect, or at least find a place to hide from Tommy.
I know you love your daughter, Phoebe, very much. Will you tell us a little about her?
Pheobe is special. People think she’s slow, but she’s isn’t. Not really. She’s a lot smarter than folks suppose. Sometimes, she’s the only thing that keeps me going, keeps me alive. She doesn’t deserve the life she’s had. I try to do what I can to make it better, to let her experience the kinds of things normal kids do, like ice cream melting on your hand and catching fireflies at night. But she’s had it rough, just like me.
The Lord is important to the people that He brings into your life in Pennsylvania. How did you feel when you realized that you had stumbled your way into a group of people who believed in the goodness of God despite the things they have gone through in their lives?
To tell the truth, I didn’t think they had gone through anything hard. They and their lives seemed perfect. But I sure saw that they believed in God and thought He was good all the time. I thought they were judgmental and stupid, looking down their noses at me because they believed in some silly old man in the sky who was only nice to the people who had such great lives they couldn’t help but be perfect all the time.
I had a very different experience in my life. The way I grew up and got used by so many people, I couldn’t believe a good God would ever let that kind of stuff happen to anybody. Come to find out, Nye and Oriana went through some rough stuff themselves, but I couldn’t believe it until God changed my heart. They seemed too happy and peaceful to have gone through anything bad. I didn’t realize until I met God that being like they were is really possible, even when you go through awful things.
The main focus of Inner Source is Romans 8:28 which tells us basically that God intends all things for good to those who love Him. He exemplified how the horrific can be turned to good for us when He declared that the only redemption we have is through the shed blood of His Only Son. God doesn’t just say that all things are intended for good. He set before us the cross: Jesus death, burial, and resurrection as a living example. How would you say that God worked all things out to good for you and for Phoebe?
I never thought I’d say this, but I can see now how even the bad things Tommy did, like on that day when I decided I had to leave him and go to Pennsylvania, brought me to where I needed to be in order to meet my Savior. Phoebe and I needed to be saved from the life we were trapped in, but I thought I could get out with some more cash or a big strong man to protect me.
Until the very worst thing happened, and I thought I’d lost my reason for living, I couldn’t see that my prison wasn’t caused by Tommy or other people. The bars of my prison were on the inside, in my heart and soul. God was the only One Who could free me from that kind of prison. He used all those awful things to bring me to the point where He redeemed me and my baby girl, not just from our hard lives, but from the sin and guilt that really made me a prisoner.
Have you come away from your story with a favorite scripture that you use to remember that God is in the details of our lives?
Yes. Nothing gives me comfort more than His promises in Isaiah 43:1: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are Mine.”
A great verse to go with a great story. Charlotte, thank you for sharing with us on Inner Source. I look forward to having your author, Jerusha Agen with us on Wednesday. I have enjoyed all three of the books in The Sisters Redeemed series.
More About This Redeemer:
Not all prisons have bars.
Charlotte Davis should know—she’s lived in one for years. She can handle getting slapped around by her boyfriend, Tommy, and even being forced to do things she would never choose, but when Tommy turns on her 10-year-old daughter, Charlotte must try to escape. With nowhere else to turn, Charlotte runs to the stranger her dying mother believed would help her.
Looking only for shelter or cash, Charlotte finds a family she longs to call her own and a gentle man she could learn to love. But if Tommy catches up with Charlotte, these strangers could learn the truth about her. Will they send her back to Tommy? Or can a Father’s love set her free?
About This Dance:
No love, no pain. No God, no games.
A tragedy three years ago destroyed Nye’s rise to the top of the dancing world as an upcoming tango star, and in the process destroyed her reason for living, too. She survived the pain and built a new life resembling nothing like the one she left behind, determined never to hurt again.
Nye’s emotional walls hold up perfectly until she meets a handsome lawyer and an elderly landowner. They seem harmless, but one awakens feelings she doesn’t want and the other makes her face the God she can’t forgive. Will these two men help Nye dance again?
About This Shadow:
She’s famous for her upbeat outlook.
Then the world goes black.
Oriana Sanders is always happy. And why shouldn’t she be? She enjoys a close relationship with God and a purpose-filled career teaching troubled kids. She even has the potential for romance in her sister’s friend, Nicanor, whose dark good looks and brooding manner make him an intriguing project for Oriana.
Oriana’s attempts to reach Nicanor with the joy of the Lord are brought to a halt when a confrontation with her student’s drug-dealing brother ends in tragedy. Facing darkness she has never known, can Oriana learn to forgive the unforgivable and find her way through the shadows to the light?
Jerusha Agen is a lifelong lover of story–a passion that has led her to a B.A. in English and a highly varied career. A member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Jerusha is the author of the Sisters Redeemed series, which includes the titles This Dance, This Shadow and This Redeemer. Jerusha co-authored the e-books A Ruby Christmas and A Dozen Apologies from Write Integrity Press.
Jerusha is also a screenwriter, and several of her original scripts have been produced as films. In addition, Jerusha is a film critic, with reviews featured at the website, www.ReedeemerReviews.com.
Jerusha relishes snowy Midwest winters spent with her large furry dogs and two small furry cats.