Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Blog Tour: Review - Face of the Earth by Deborah Raney

Author: Deborah Raney
Publisher: Howard Books
Date of publication: May 2013

When Mitchell Brannon’s beloved wife of twenty years kisses him goodbye one morning, he has little idea that his life is about to change forever. Mitch returns from work early that evening, surprised Jill’s car isn’t in the garage. But her voice on the answering machine makes him smile. “Hey, babe, I’m just now checking out of the hotel, but I’ll stop and pick up something for dinner. Love you.” Hours later, Jill still hasn’t returned, and Mitch’s irritation turns to dread.

When the police come up empty, Mitch enlists the help of their next-door neighbor, Jill’s best friend, Shelley, to help search. As days turn into weeks and weeks into months, Mitch and Shelley’s friendship grows ever closer––and decidedly more complicated. Every lead seems to be a dead end, and Mitch wonders how he can honor the vows he made to a woman who has seemingly disappeared off the face of the earth.

Face of the Earth is a beautifully written and heart-wrenching story that deals with a very scary subject.  Isn't every person's nightmare one where a loved one never comes home?    When Michell's wife fails to return home from a teacher conference, he does everything in his power to find her. I really felt for Mitchell.  I can only imagine the panic and frantic feeling of not knowing what happened. Along the way, he finds out some secrets about Jill that make him start to question his relationship with her.  His heartache and guilt over imagining the worst about her came across so well.  Through his faith and prayer, he is able to find some consolation. The story takes place over a year. While they are waiting for Jill to come home, the routine of life still goes on.  Holidays come and go.  Work and school are still there.

The book also deals with the question of how far do you take your vows that you make to your spouse?  How long are you supposed to wait before you move on? One year? Ten? Can your faith be enough to sustain you until you get the answers that you need so desperately?  Both Mitchell and Shelley struggle with this as they grow closer through their grief over the loss of Jill. I thought the situation was handled very well and realistically. I commended both Mitchel and Shelley for recognizing their weakness toward each other and doing things to make sure they remained just friends. 

After reading the book, I'm not sure that I am any closer to an answer .  I honestly don't know what I would do in this situation. I think it is only something that each person can answer for themselves.  It is definitely a book that makes you do some deep soul searching.   Do they ever find Jill?  I don't want to give that away. I'll just say that I loved the ending.  I felt like I got closure and was happy with the conclusion of my journey with Mitchell and his family. 

About the author:

DEBORAH RANEY's first novel, A Vow to Cherish, inspired the World Wide Pictures film of the same title. Her books have since won the RITA Award, ACFW Carol Award, HOLT Medallion, National Readers' Choice Award, Silver Angel, and have twice been Christy Award finalists. Forever After, second in her new Hanover Falls Novels series just released from Howard/Simon & Schuster. Deb and her husband, Ken Raney, enjoy small-town life in Kansas. They are new empty nesters with four children and a growing quiver of grandchildren, all of whom live much too far away.

Twitter: authordebraney


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