When I picked this novel up at the local thrift store, I had no idea that the author, Susan Meissner, also wrote one of Publishers Weekly’s Best Religious Fiction Books of 2008 (The Shape of Mercy).
This is the best sort of Christian novel — faith is incorporated naturally into the lives of some of the main characters. You will read for quite a while before even noticing it. What you will notice is the lack of bad language (which seems obligatory in most popular novels, and I find really irritating) and a strong ethical orientation. Of course, as you read further into the story, you find people who pray, attend church and try to adhere to Christian moral values. Meissner allows this to simply be part of her story, and it does not feel “tacked on” to make her work qualify as “Christian.”
It’s a book about secrets, past and present. You’ll learn some history about the Warsaw Ghetto and World War II. The plot features several teens and the dilemmas they face, so it would be appropriate for young adult readers. When one young man struggles with a situation in his life, he goes to the resident of a nursing home for a solution; he’s told he’s looking for answers in the wrong place.
“I can tell in your voice you have not asked God many questions. …. Eliasz cannot tell you what happened. Only God can tell you. Ask Him.”
This was the biggest takeaway for me from the book, because there are questions I also need to be asking God right now. We’re all guilty of looking for solutions on our own, instead of going to the source of all good decisions –God.
VERDICT– 5 stars. An enjoyable and easy read that you won’t be ashamed to share with your mother or your teenager. I look forward to trying some other books by this author.