Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Shelley Bates' Over Her Head ~ Reviewed

Over Her Head: A Novel (Faithwords)
by Shelley Bates
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: FaithWords (May 23, 2007)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0446694932
ISBN-13: 978-0446694933

Laurie Hale has the perfect life -- and the perfect family to go with it. She imagines fun, love and academic success for her daughter, Anna. But when one of Anna's classmates is found murdered and the police start asking questions, fear and suspicion threaten everything Laurie values.

Anna isn't the only suspect -- a whole group of teenagers seems to be involved, but none of them is talking, and the community is in an uproar.

Laurie is asked to leave her prayer group just when she needs it the most, and her marriage bears the string of the crisis. Laurie's only ally is Janice, the mayor's wife, whose own son could implicate Anna -- or exonerate her.

Ultimately, Laurie must face her fears: What if Anna really was involved in Randi Peizer's murder? And what kind of person is Laurie if she can doubt her own child's innocence? Only God can provide the answers when Laurie finds herself in OVER HER HEAD.

My Review:

Shelley Bates' Laurie reminds me of a lot of women I know, have known, and have been. And to be honest, Laurie hit way too close to home.

I suppose it is of the order of highest praise to have issues with a character who convicts you. Shelley should take it as such.

Anna, well, I have some issues with her, too.

Overall, I need to tell you that this is not an easy read if you are in the process of discovering that you are offended, or if your church relationships aren't quite meeting your needs. If you wrestle with a difficult teenager and you've recently ripped a few bald spots on your scalp, the struggles within this novel may stir you up.

The story could be torn from newspaper headlines. Bates handles spirituality and faith realistically. The story flows. The suspense is moderate, and there is a bit of gore.

Reviewed by Kelly Klepfer

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