Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Unbreakable by Nancy Mehl - REVIEWED

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Bethany House Publishers (February 1, 2013)
Nancy Mehl


Nancy Mehl lives in Wichita, Kansas with her husband Norman and their dog, Watson. She’s authored thirteen books and is currently at work on her newest series for Bethany House Publishing.

All of Nancy’s novels have an added touch – something for your spirit as well as your soul. “I welcome the opportunity to share my faith through my writing,” Nancy says. “It’s a part of me and of everything I think or do. God is number one in my life. I wouldn’t be writing at all if I didn’t believe that this is what He’s called me to do. I hope everyone who reads my books will walk away with the most important message I can give them: God is good, and He loves you more than you can imagine. He has a good plan especially for your life, and there is nothing you can’t overcome with His help.”

She and her husband attend Believer’s Tabernacle in Wichita.


Mennonite Romantic Suspense Sure to Thrill Readers

Gentle and unassuming Hope Kauffman has never been one to question or try to make changes. She quietly helps her father run Kingdom Quilts and has agreed to the betrothal her father arranged for her with the devout but shy Ebbie Miller.

Despite Hope's and other Kingdom residents' attempts to maintain the status quo, changes have already begun to stir in the small Mennonite town. The handsome and charismatic Jonathon Wiese is the leader of the move to reform, and when one of Kingdom's own is threatened by a mysterious outsider, Jonathon is one of the first to push for the town to arm itself. Hope's fiance, Ebbie, is at the forefront of those demanding the town stay true to its traditions of nonviolence.

When strange incidents around town result in outright attacks on several townspeople, Hope can't help but question what she's always been taught. As the town that's always stood so strong together is torn apart at the seams, Hope is caught between opposing sides, both represented by those she has come to care for. With tensions high and lives endangered by an unknown threat, Hope fears Kingdom can never survive in one piece.

My Thoughts:

"People talk about faith, but they only want to practice it when there's not much at stake."  (p. 256)

"Sometimes walking through the fire burns away the useless things in our lives and refines what is left."  (p.321)

Unbreakable is a book of unexpected contrasts and similarities.  Nancy Mehl’s story seems rather predicable at first, and, quite frankly, I almost turned away too soon.  I’m glad I persevered, because the truth that is revealed about the human heart is important and timely.  The Mennonite community believes in peace to a degree that seems careless with so many school shootings and terrorist acts being committed almost daily.  Yet when the town of Kingdom is suddenly a dangerous place to live, the people in the community are tested in their faith in a new and dangerous way.  Everyone has to examine their hearts and decide what they believe and why they believe it.  The decision is not an easy one.

Hope Kauffman must make multiple decisions about several areas of life and faith.   Torn between two young men, trying to earn the trust of her father, wanting to be treated with respect and left to make her own decisions as the adult she has become without distancing herself from her father…..lots going on in this young lady’s life!  Mehl cleverly and believably ties the personal and deeply emotional aspects of the story to the drama and danger facing the town.  By the time the end of the story draws near, Mehl has the truth of the human heart popping of the page!  I found myself nodding in agreement as I read, and even saying a quiet “a-men!” as I neared the closing scene.

This is not the tense, suspenseful drama I was expecting, but it was a very satisfying read in a very different way.  Yes, there were a few tense moments along the way, but the punch that is delivered at the end (revealing the truth behind what is taking place in the town) is as strong, quiet and unbreakable as the faith of the Mennonite people.  Great story!!

If you would like to read the first chapter of Unbreakable, go HERE.

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