In This Moment: A Novel

by Karen Kingsbury

Hardcover, 2017



Call number



Howard Books (2017), Edition: First Edition, 400 pages


When he receives national attention and criticism for starting an after-school Bible study and prayer program, Wendell Quinn chooses attorney Luke Baxter to help him fight the battle.


Original language


Physical description

400 p.; 8.38 inches


1451687621 / 9781451687620

User reviews

LibraryThing member Kris_Anderson
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
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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.
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LibraryThing member vintagebeckie
Relevant is the one overwhelming word to describe In This Moment, the latest Baxter Family book from Karen Kingsbury. With the increase in drug overdoses, gang violence, and broken families, many believers are calling for a return to the values that once set our nation apart. Main character Wendell
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Quinn, a high school principal with a heart for his students, takes extraordinary measures to bring his students back from the brink — a voluntary Bible study and prayer club. Kingsbury’s novel explores the results and consequences of one man brave enough to buck the system and cultural prejudices to help his students.

Fans of Kingsbury’s Baxter Family series of books will enjoy the interaction of the family with the main story thread of the school Bible study club. Luke Baxter is involved with the ensuing court case that embroils the principal. But for me the characters of Wendell, his family and friends, and the students that are reached with this revolutionary program were the best part of the story. Real, relatable, with real doubts and fears, these characters were ones I would love to know in real life. The themes of the novel, religious liberty and the presence of God, are thoughtfully woven throughout the book. This one is definitely Christian fiction — the characters pray, scripture is read and relied upon, and God’s voice speaks to many of the characters. While the book ends well, it is not before loss and heartache touch all of the characters.

One of the things I found unusual was the belief among many of the characters that reading the Bible and prayer in public places would get you in trouble or sent to jail. Now don’t get me wrong, I know that the attack on religious liberty, especially when it comes to Christians, is alive and well in America. But my small town deep in the Bible Belt has not experienced much of that . . . yet. I think that is the most important take-away from In This Moment. The events depicted in the book may seem the norm or the exception to you, but be assured at some point in the future you will be confronted by those who would seek to shut down religious freedom. We need to be ready. Here is one great quote to remember — In addition to the lawsuits, people didn’t need to be forced into silence. They were silencing themselves out of fear and a lack of knowledge of their rights. (p. 75)

A great read to get you thinking, In This Moment would be an excellent choice for a book club discussion for adults or teens. It gets a recommended rating from me.


Audience: older teens to adults.

(Thanks to Howard Books for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)
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LibraryThing member Indiancreek
Luke Baxter - a lawyer specializing in religious freedom cases - takes on the fight of his life when public high school principal Wendell Quinn is sued for starting an after-school Bible study called Raise the Bar.

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