An Extra Mile: A Story of Embracing God's Call, By Sharon Garlough Brown
An Extra Mile
  • Length: 381 pages
  • Dimensions: 5.5 × 8.25 in
  • Published: February 06, 2018
  • Imprint: IVP Formatio
  • Item Code: 4332
  • ISBN: 9780830843329

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Christianity Today Book of the Year Award

The women of Sensible Shoes are navigating both deep joy and devastating loss. Can they find equilibrium in the midst of all that has changed?

Mara: While faced with the turmoil of divorce and chaos at home, she is also listening for a call to serve others with courage and creativity.

Hannah: As she grieves the twin losses of her dear friend and her Chicago ministry position, she also begins to embrace the joys and challenges of a new marriage.

Charissa: Overwhelmed by her pregnancy and the demands of her teaching schedule, she is in need of even more grace for herself and others.

Becca: Bereft and filled with regrets, can she find hope for the future and a way home?

In this final installment of the Sensible Shoes series, you're invited to travel with these beloved friends as they endure trials that test their trust and their willingness to walk an extra mile.

"Sharon's novels take you on a healing journey. She deftly intertwines compelling story and spiritual direction in a way that both draws you in and invites you to heal. And she never rushes her characters through the process of transformation—much like God never rushes us through ours. If you want to get lost in a great novel and at the same time find healing for your own soul, read An Extra Mile. You won't want to miss one of Sharon's books."

Susie Larson, talk radio host, national speaker, author of Your Beautiful Purpose

"Still reeling from Barefoot, I was eager to welcome back my Sensible Shoes friends in this final book, An Extra Mile. How appropriate that stories about spiritual journey in the midst of life's grit and grace should conclude with so many challenges. Here, significant changes for everyone have threatened to unravel their sweet friendship connection. It's time to discern and follow God's new calling. Yet again, Sharon Garlough Brown offers the perfect blend of a riveting story and spiritual content—this time during the season of Lent. Redeeming and refreshing, I highly recommend it, even though it means saying goodbye to literary friends I have enjoyed for four novels."

Lucinda Secrest McDowell, author of Ordinary Graces and Dwelling Places

"Author Sharon G. Brown has done it again! Once more she powerfully weaves the stories of women who are struggling yet desiring to grow their faith in everyday life with its ups and downs. You'll identify with them as they seek to move forward when life is difficult. You'll watch how they begin to realize that life challenges are actually an invitation from their Heavenly Father to trust him even when the way looks very dark. Ultimately, these women show us a way to embrace God's joy and his personal call on our own lives."

Marilyn Hontz, speaker, author, ministry coach, pastor

"I have thoroughly enjoyed all of the Sensible Shoes books and hated to say goodbye to these wonderful characters. But An Extra Mile provided a fulfilling close to this great series. Thank you, Sharon, for enriching my life with these novels and teaching me so much about my own journey of spiritual transformation."

Lynn Austin, author of Where We Belong

"I came to the final novel of the Sensible Shoes series with a feeling of grief. How I didn't want the story to end! But once again, as with the first three novels, I found within the pages of An Extra Mile beautiful nuggets of truth to hold on to long after I swiped the last page on my Kindle. Navigating great joy and devastating loss, Hannah, Mara, Charissa, and Meg's daughter Becca each struggle to move forward in life and love. With her characteristic shimmering prose and deep spiritual insights, Brown tells another story for our times as we journey with the Sensible Shoes club one extra mile."

Elizabeth Musser, author of The Long Highway Home

"Sharon Garlough Brown has once again given us an irresistible page-turner, bringing this series to a satisfying close while celebrating that life with God is always unfolding anew. Rarely in fiction are we invited so deeply and generously into the secret contours of the spiritual life. Through the realistic stories of these four women, readers experience what it feels like to enter the darkest places of loss, resistance, and frustration, and find there the abundant grace of God."

Debra Rienstra, author of Great with Child: On Becoming a Mother and So Much More: An Invitation to Christian Spirituality

"An Extra Mile is a testimony to the joy that comes with spiritual growth and increasing trust, even amid setbacks and sorrow. In Mara, Charissa, Hannah, and Becca, we see God faithfully renewing real, messy lives with grace and tender patience, stretching his beloved ones to greater love and service. In this final installment of the Sensible Shoes series, Sharon Garlough Brown offers a beautiful invitation to share in the deepening sacred journeys of her characters and to make this pilgrimage our own."

Rebecca DeYoung, professor of philosophy, Calvin College, and author of Glittering Vices

"I finished reading An Extra Mile at exactly midnight with a tear and a sigh. Sharon Garlough Brown has done it again! I loved this final book in the series, and especially enjoyed seeing the transformation of the characters who now feel like friends. In this book we experience grief up close and too personal—I wept with the friends at their losses. But I cheered with them too when they found meaning and hope in the God who loves them. How I will miss these women and their spiritual journeys."

Amy Boucher Pye, author of Finding Myself in Britain

"One of the greatest gifts a Christian author can give us is a realistic picture of what it looks like to be human and a follower of Jesus. In An Extra Mile, Sharon Garlough Brown offers us this exceptional gift. She portrays the spiritual journey of four women with compelling, candid, and relatable prose. You could be any one of them as you witness each navigate grief, conflict, jealousy, and disappointment. Just as the patterns of their own personalities trip them up, so the faithful urgings of God's Spirit spur them toward a better way. In this final book of the Sensible Shoes series, readers will grieve, pray, and celebrate the victory of love that comes to those who dare to walk an extra mile."

Beth Booram, cofounder and director of Sustainable Faith Indy, spiritual director and retreat leader, author of Starting Something New, and coauthor of Awaken Your Senses

"If you've been journeying with Brown's beloved characters through their densely packed year of spiritual insights and practices, don't miss this last mile. Reckoning with loss, with life not going as planned, and with relinquishing plans altogether, An Extra Mile is as harrowing as it is satisfying."

Sarah Arthur, author, speaker, preliminary fiction judge for the Christianity Today Book Awards

"The story provides a satisfying ending to the Sensible Shoes series. Even for those who have not read the first three books, Brown does a masterful job familiarizing readers with her four main characters and providing the necessary backstory. Each character is realistic and believable, faced with inner and outer struggles that intermingle in ways that readers may recognize. These aren’t ‘strong females’ after the fashion of Hollywood blockbusters—they aren’t leading armies or embracing their destiny as the chosen one—but they prove themselves strong in the truest sense of the word: They face the needs in their everyday lives, recognize their spiritual condition, and struggle to walk with Christ day by day."

Rebecca LuElla Miller, Christianity Today, December 11, 2018

"Christian readers will find inspiration in the way that each character leans harder into her relationship with God and into the welcoming arms of her friends in this joyful series finale."

Publishers Weekly, March 26, 2018

"Highly recommend to those wanting a good story."

Kim Trivilino, Christian Market, February 2018

Read an Excerpt


Part I
In the Shadow
Meditation on John 11:17-44

Part II
Broken and Poured Out
Meditation on Mark 14:1-11

Part III
Rolling Away Stones
Silence and Solitude Retreat

Part IV
All Things New
Meditation on John 21:9-22

Journey to the Cross


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Sharon Garlough Brown

Sharon Garlough Brown is a spiritual director, speaker, and cofounder of Abiding Way Ministries, providing spiritual formation retreats and resources. She is the author of the bestselling Sensible Shoes Series, which includes spiritual fiction novels Sensible Shoes, Two Steps Forward, Barefoot, An Extra Mile, and their study guides.