I recently finished the third book in Amy Wallace’s “Defenders of Hope Series”: Enduring Justice. I haven’t read the first two books, so it took me a few chapters to get the characters figured out, and try to guess about events that were referred to that must have occurred in the first two books.
Despite the fact that it was a slow start for me, I loved the book. There were two main plots that were woven together–Hanna Kessler dealing with the childhood abuse that she had never shared with anyone, not even her family, and the FBI (including Hanna’s brother and her boyfriend) searching for a racially motivated killer.
This was a pretty gritty book, because of the flashbacks to Hanna’s abuse, and the details regarding the white supremacists as the FBI is desperately trying to find and apprehend them. It was a very real book, with characters dealing with real emotions and real flaws. I didn’t find this to be the stereotypical Christian novel, filled with syrupy characters who always make the right decisions. The characters in this book made mistakes, some big ones, and had to deal with the consequences just like they would in the real world.
The style of this book very much reminded my of Dee Henderson’s “O’Malley” series, which is high praise from me, as that was the first mystery/suspense series I ever enjoyed reading. I am looking forward to going back and reading the first two books, Ransomed Dreams and Healing Promises, and I’ll be curious to see if Amy Wallace writes any more books in the series–if she does, I’ll definitely be looking for those, too!
I also had the chance to read Dear Mom by Melody Carlson, which is a book written for mothers of teenage daughters, in a style as though it is written by the teenager herself. Unfortunately, I didn’t find this book to be nearly as appealing as Enduring Justice was.
I understand the purpose of the book, and think it’s a good one–to help mothers see how their actions, from the way they dress to the way they interact with their daughter’s friends to the words they choose, affect their children. But something about the tone of the book was disturbing to me. Maybe that’s just the natural tone of teenagers, and that’s why it rubbed me the wrong way, but it came across like mothers are just stupid, and need to be talked to like children in order to understand how they can make communication with their daughters easier.
I am all for encouraging parents and teens in their interactions, and helping them understand each other better. But I would think that there is a better, more respectful way to accomplish this goal.