Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Through the Shadows by Karen Barnett - REVIEWED

About the book: 

Through the Shadows (Abingdon, May 2016)

As San Francisco rises from the ashes, an age-old battle looms between corruption and the promise of new beginnings.

The devastating earthquake is just two years past, but the city of San Francisco is still trying to recover. Destruction of this magnitude is not so easy to overcome---and neither are the past regrets shadowing Elizabeth King's hopeful future.

Hoping to right her wrongs, Elizabeth dedicates herself to helping girls rescued from slavery in Chinatown brothels, even if it means putting her own life at risk to sneak through the gloomy alleys and rooftops where dangers lurk.

Putting her life on the line for a worthy cause is admirable. But opening her heart is even more terrifying. So when Elizabeth meets attorney, Charles McKinley---a man who dreams of reforming San Francisco's crooked politics---Elizabeth begins to doubt: Can she maintain her pretense and hide her past? Or will her secret jeopardize both their futures?

Buy your copy HERE!

My Thoughts:
If God had given her the gift of freedom, why did she live under the shadows of the past?” (p.202)

Often times, as I read fiction, God will place a character in my path that is dealing with a similar struggle. Elizabeth King is just such a character, and the question above is a very succinct summation of the trouble that seems to dog her every step.  She is unable to forgive herself for past indiscretions, and because of that, is unable to accept God’s forgiveness, grace and mercy.

Charles McKinley is facing a different type of situation all together, but the results are the same.  He is trying to please others because he feels beholden to them for their help in some way.  He is unable to stand up for himself in the shadow of their control, and he finds himself facing decisions that make him very uncomfortable.

Charles and Elizabeth are able to find their way into each other’s worlds despite some pretty daunting odds.  I was intrigued to find, in the course of this novel, that human trafficking  of young girls has a  long and disturbing history in this country.  To find that the Mission in this novel is based on a real mission and the life of a real missionary was a powerful revelation!

The fact that this was a real battle that was chosen for these fictional characters makes the conclusions of their story both realistic and powerful as it reflects the transforming power of God’s grace upon the lives that it touches.  This is truly a unique and powerful combination of history, fiction and God’s grace! I am all too happy to recommend this novel to everyone!! 

About the Author:
Karen Barnett is the author of Beyond the AshesOut of the Ruins, and Mistaken. Named the 2013 Writer of Promise by Oregon Christian Writers, Karen lives in Albany, Oregon, with her husband and two kids. When she's not writing novels, she loves speaking at women's events, libraries, and book clubs.

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