Mallory had a goal, to save a life. She had been thwarted by her parents when, as a teen, she had wanted to give a kidney to her dying cousin. Now she was determined. Then a Muslim co-worker and friend told her about his cousin, Abdul, who had a daughter dying of leukemia in Pakistan. She needed treatment in the US. The only way that could happen was if Abdul could marry a US citizen. Then he could apply for a visa and get his daughter the help she needed. Mallory saw the opportunity as the chance to fulfill her goal. She would marry Abdul – on paper only. Then she would be back. Before her boyfriend or family could stop her, she was on her way. Mallory would soon find out her trip was based on lies and her life was in danger.
This is a well written and thought provoking novel. Mallory's character is well crafted as a naive American who thinks going to Pakistan will be fine. She really has no idea of the conditions in the village there nor what the people will be like. Abdul comes across as a man willing to lie and deceive to get his way. It is not until Mallory is actually in his home that his true character comes to light. There is plenty of action in the novel too, once the first third of the book sets up the story. The events are described well, and create suspense near the end.
Wiseman, in A Letter From The Author, says this novel is based on a a friend's actual life story. She had been seduced to go to Pakistan and had experiences similar to those in the novel. As a sister to two Middle East missionaries, I know this kind of story happens all too often.
Wiseman says she writes books to make a difference. She wants to educate women to the reality of this kind of situation. She also wrote this novel wanting to show that there are good and bad people in every religion.
It is important for potential readers to know that Wiseman does not comment on actual Muslim beliefs. She does not give the readers the background on why some Muslims in the novel freely lie and use deceit. In fact, I was a little uncomfortable with the “we pray to the same God” kind of comments made by characters in the book.
I am taking part in a blog tour of this book and you can read other reviews here.
You can read a sample chapter at Wiseman's website: https://bethwiseman.com/.
Beth Wiseman has won the Carol Award, Inspirational Readers Choice, INSPY and is the best-selling author of several series. She grew up in Houston, Texas and now she and her husband live in a small town nearby. They have two grown sons. Find out more about her at https://bethwiseman.com/.
Thomas Nelson, 294 pages. You can purchase a copy here.
I received a complimentary egalley of this book through the Litfuse Publicity Group for the purpose of an independent and honest review.