Terry doesn't stay clear of controversial issues and she has tackled a serious one in this novel. Kennedy gets in the center of a family difficulty when a teen in Carl's congregation comes out as gay. Before it long there is a murder and devastating disaster.
The plot is a good mix of exploring a controversial issue and relationships between the people involved. Pastor Carl has a compassionate yet firm view while his youth pastor is open to a greater level of acceptance. Both feel passionate about their position yet are able to discuss the issue rather calmly. Terry relates the various views through character dialog in a way that is informative but not preachy. Terry did steer away from relating New Testament passages on the issue.
To broaden the novel a bit Terry included the interesting side issue of adoption, especially when it involves a child from another culture. Another interesting issue was prayer. Kennedy expresses her feeling about the difficulty of being persistent in prayer.
This is the fourth book in this series but can easily be read on its own. Terry has included references to previous events in Kennedy's life when needed. Kennedy is more of an observer in this novel so her past experiences are not essential to appreciating this story.
Terry's goal was not to promote a position but rather provide a framework for discussion. Several of the characters have differing views of homosexuality, each presenting their own in the course of the novel. Terry wanted to get her readers to think more deeply on the issue. A very good set of Discussion Questions are included for group or personal reflection. I recommend this book to those willing to read about and discuss this serious issue.
My rating: 4/5 stars.
Alana Terry is a pastor's wife, homeschooling mom and award winning Christian suspense author. She and her family life in rural Alaska. You can find out more at www.alanaterry.com.
Firstfruits Publishing, 266 pages.
I received a complimentary digital copy of this book from the author. My comments are an independent and honest review.