Sunday, September 04, 2011
Kathi Macias's Deliver Me From Evil ~ Reviewed
Deliver Me from Evil (Freedom)
Publisher:New Hope Publishers
Deliver Me from Evil introduces readers to Mara, an eighteen-year-old girl who has been enslaved for nearly ten years, having been sold by her parents in Mexico and then smuggled across the border into San Diego where she was forced into sexual slavery. Readers will also meet 18-year-old, Bible-college-bound Jonathan and his 16-year-old sister, Leah, whose paths cross Mara's and who become involved in her dramatic rescue.
Interwoven between the stories of Mara, Jonathan, and Leah is the heartbreaking story of another young woman in captivity in the Golden Triangle of Thailand, whose past life mysteriously connects to the young people in San Diego.
Some novels entertain, some challenge, and some penetrate to the deepest recesses of your heart. In Delivery Me From Evil, Kathi Macias brings the issue of human trafficking to the forefront of our minds, removing the option of apathy. And yet, she does much more than weave a thought-provoking, and at times, gut-wrenching story. Throughout her novel, using various characters from different walks of life, she presents options for positive change.
We begin the story with Mara, an eighteen year old who should be planning for college and dreaming of her future but who, instead, spends each day fighting for survival. Her greatest defense is a hardened heart, if only she could keep the walls barring her emotions erected. Her heart bleeds for the abused children brought into the brothel, but her fight-or-flight instinct forces her to choke down her compassion. She’s learned the hard way--emotions are dangerous and human attachments lead to pain. Beaten, humiliated, abandoned, and betrayed, she’s given up hope for better, until, standing in the doorway of a seedy hotel, she meets the gaze of a man with eyes free of hatred and lustful hunger. Could kind men exist? Those who aren’t out to use and abuse her? Although the question draws her, her shattered heart fights against the hope it awakens.
Meanwhile, Jonathan, the young man who catches a glimpse of Mara while delivering a pizza, can’t shake the image of the terror-filled eyes staring out at him from a hotel room doorway. He tries to rationalize away what he saw, but God pricks his heart, bringing heart-wrenching clarity. As the reality of what he witnesses weighs down on him, the enormity of the problem becomes overwhelming. Sex trafficking in the United States? The thought is inconceivable, and yet, the truth is undeniable. But what can he, a high school senior, do? He’s faced with two choices: pretend this evil doesn’t exist or potentially risk his life to do something about it.
I loved this novel because not only does it educate through the story, but Kathi also provided numerous ways readers can get involved. As each character responds differently—from initiating meetings to sharing their testimony—readers understand that although the issue of human trafficking is monumental, there are ways to make a difference. The biggest of which may very well be awareness and education.
This was the first novel I’ve read by Kathi and I loved seeing her heart pour into the pages. Her choice of characters brought her message home. Through Jonathan and Mara—a youth about to embark on a very promising future and another youth robbed of her humanity—sex-trafficking victims are given a name and a face. In reading, it made me realize, but by the grace of God there goes my child or my sister. Which left me with one burning question—if Mara were my sister or daughter, to what lengths would I go to free her?
Reviewed by: Jennifer Slattery
Clash of the Titles