Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Kristen Heitzmann's Indivisible ~ Reviewed
By Kristen Heitzmann
Published by WaterBrook Press
Battling his own personal demons, Police Chief Jonah Westfall knows the dark side of life and has committed himself to eradicating it. When a pair of raccoons are found mutilated in Redford, Colorado, Jonah investigates the gruesome act, knowing the strange event could escalate and destroy the tranquility of his small mountain town. With a rising drug threat and never-ending conflict with Tia Manning, a formidable childhood friend with whom he has more than a passing history, Jonah fights for answers—and his fragile sobriety.
But he can’t penetrate every wound or secret—especially one fueled by a love and guilt teetering on madness.
From best-selling author Kristen Heitzmann comes a spellbinding tale of severed connections and the consequences of life lived alone.
Upon reading Indivisible, I can see why Kristen Heitzmann has become a best-selling author. Her characters, for the most part, were real and dynamic, her plot was engaging, and the writing captivating.
The story begins by diving into the lives of four very different individuals who share a common bond: emotional baggage that hinders their ability to experience joy and authentic, intimate relationships with others. Jonah, a tough yet sensitive second generation police officer, fights against his inner demons and self-loathing. Raised by an alcoholic, physically and psychologically abusive father, his tainted self-image creates a self-fulfilling prophesy when it comes to relationships. It takes the trust of a coyote—yep, you read right, a coyote--to break through his outer shell and show him that perhaps he is lovable after all.
And then there’s Tia, poor, tender-hearted (in a defensive, angry sort of way) Tia, Jonah’s one true love. Living down a scandal that resulted in familial ostracism, she struggles with demons of her own. Hiding out in a self-induced prison, she plays the perfect daughter card in order to make up for past sins, her ultimate sacrifice being denial of true love. She longs for Jonah and hates him at the same time, blaming him for her past. But when things take a turn for the worst and Jonah finally gives up, her heart breaks over what has been lost. Is it too late to undo the damage, or has her one chance at true love come and gone?
Tia’s best, and perhaps only, friend, Piper, has her own emotional garbage slung over her shoulder, although she seems to be farther along on the road to emotional recovery than the rest. Now if she could just allow God into the picture, things would really start moving forward. But real faith often comes during times of desperation and it takes a perilous situation for her to make that final turn.
And then there’s the most emotionally-enslaved character of all, Liz, the town’s veterinarian. Bound forever by guilt and a twisted sense of intimacy, she longs for love but doesn’t quite understand what it is, or how to attain it. At least, not without shattering the one relationship she does have with her previously conjoined twin.
Even though this book is complicated, and at times, slightly quirky, the author did a great job of weaving multiple sub-plots into one cohesive story. Initially, I found the many points of views presented to be distracting—all four within the first few pages. But as the story progressed, I quickly empathized with each one. That being said, Tia and Jonah were my favorites. Overall, the writing was very creative, with frequent analogies and metaphors. Although at times, like when a character was said to hold his arms to his chest like an eagling just out of the egg, the imagery was more cumbersome than helpful. However, as the book progressed the writing became more natural and the descriptions less forced.
The demons that haunted most of the characters were very accurately portrayed. In Jonah, we understood the deep cravings he had for alcoholism and in Tia, we felt her deep insecurities and need for unconditional love and acceptance. The outcome presented for one of the minor characters, a young man suffering from obsessive compulsive disorder, seemed to miss the mark, but to expand further would ruin a good portion of the story for you.
Overall, a great book with a hint of Christianity.
Reviewed by: Jennifer Slattery