This is the third in The Secret of the Journal series. The author has conveniently given a synopsis of the story so far at the beginning of this book. While that was a good review, I think it does not have enough information contained to be able to read this book on its own. The basis for Matthew's condition has its roots in the seventeenth century, covered in previous novels. If you have not read the previous books you may be at a loss regarding some of the action and discussions in this one.
In this novel Emma is back in Maine and spends Christmas with Matthew's family. She knows the truth about his longevity and is now ready to meet his family. It is a complicated situation. Because of Matthew's “condition,” he has a son who appears much older than Matthew. When in public, there has to be some deception to cover the discrepancy in apparent ages.
Emma encounters a mixed reception. Some in the family welcome her while others are intensely hostile. As the novel progresses, it becomes clear that someone has evil thoughts toward Emma and her future.
The first part of the novel went slowly. There is much dialog between Matthew and Emma and much thinking on Emma's part. It took a while for me to be captured, but it did happen in the second half of the book. There is compelling suspense near the end of the novel. I had to remind myself that this is a British author and the narrative does not always move as quickly as we Americans sometimes like.
I really like the intervention of the spiritual into the physical realm. It peaks near the end of the novel when good battles evil. I really like this series and do recommend it. Those who enjoy intense character development and interaction will appreciate these novels.
C. F. Dunn runs a specialist dyslexia and autism school in South-East England and writes in the South-West. You can find out more at http://www.cfdunn.co.uk/.
Lion Fiction, 464 pages.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Kregel for the purpose of an independent and honest review.