Monday, November 06, 2006

Widows and Orphans--Another Great Read to Talk About

When I agreed to read Susan Meissner's book, Widows and Orphans, I wasn't sure what to expect from a story carrying such an unusual title. It was billed as a mystery and since that's one of my favorite genres, and one I'm aspiring to be published in, I seized the opportunity to be an influencer. An influencer is one who agrees to read a copy of the author's book (complimentary copy is provided) as it's being released and then write reviews on websites like Amazon and Christianbook.Com. There's been an occasion when I've done this and wished I hadn't because the book didn't meet my expectations. Can you imagine how hard it is to say something good about something bad (in my opinion) and still be honest?

I didn't have to worry in this case. The story is wonderful.

Rather than repeat myself, here is what I just posted at the and websites:

Widows and Orphans is the first book written by Susan Meissner I’ve read, but it won’t be the last.

From the first chapter to the last I was drawn into the story. I was only sorry that my life got in the way too many times, causing me to take way too long to read through to the end. Meissner has a way of connecting the reader with her characters so much so they become real. Even Fig was likable. First described in Rachael’s (the heroine) inner thoughts as a friend of her husband Trace’s from his art school days who irritated her to no end, I was prepared to not like this unique guy. But, as Meissner developed his character through the story, I came to like him as even Rachael seemed to do as well. In fact, none of the characters remain static in who they are, especially Rachel and her brother.

The mystery surrounds Rachel’s brother and his commitment to fulfilling his calling from God—providing for and protecting widows and orphans. He’s gotten himself into a real jam. One Rachael, a defense attorney, can’t seem to help him with, nor does he seek her help. The tension of the mystery builds as Rachael seeks the ever-elusive truth. Throughout the story, the darkness surrounding her brother’s predicament is delightfully balanced by periodic scenes with Rachel’s three-month old daughter McKenna. Interaction between mother and baby provide sweet release. Something all babies do, real or fictionalized. A wonderful countering technique.

This is a great read. The second in this new series is due out in early ’07 and I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy!

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