Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Deborah Raney's The Face of the Earth ~ Reviewed

By Debra Raney
Published by Howard Publishing

Back Cover: When Mitchell Brannon’s beloved wife sets off for home after a conference, he has no idea that his life is about to change forever. Mitch returns from work early that evening, surprised that 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 hours turn into days and days into weeks, 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 from the face of the earth.

Review: I’m thankful for a review copy of a book that instantly had me care for the cast of characters and their situation. I appreciated the authors note to readers too it said, “In the Face of the Earth, I explore what it might be like to that person whom, suddenly – and forever after – you are defined as the couple whose baby drowned, the parents of the school shooter, or the man whose wife disappeared off the face of the earth.

How can a person ever go on with life after being marked by such disaster? Can God truly redeem and redefine a tragic life? I believe he can.”

Debra Raney takes the reader on a journey with Mitchell Brannon a man in search for his wife. She went away for a conference and is late getting back home. How long do you wait to call the police, hospitals etc?

This author looks at what, “till death do us part” means. Debra says, “It seems our society has all but discarded the value of loyalty in marriage…I believe the wedding vows are sacred and precious, and its been one of my goals as a writer to portray the kind of marriage I’ve seen modeled in my family…. It hasn’t always been a breeze, but it has always been worth fighting for.”

Mitchell Brannon plays the message left on his machine from his wife, Jill, “Hey babe, I’m just now checking out of the hotel, but I’ll stop and pick up something for dinner. Love you!”

The time shown on the recorder when the call was placed gave her plenty of time to be home already Mitchell thought. What should he do? As the hours pass and dread sets in, it’s hard to stay calm, and know when to notify his college age children. He wondered where could she be? Broken down some where? What could have happened? What should he do now to find her? It was driving him crazy.

This author had this story set in current time using all the latest and greatest technology available to track down someone whose lost, GPS, cell-phone tracking someone’s text messages, facebook page etc. It was interesting to read and discover that Mitchell didn’t know every single thing about his wife as they explore all the messages she received and sent out. This surprised him he thought he knew everything there was to know!

Mitchell enlists the help of their next-door neighbor, Jill’s best friend, Shelley to help watch for his wife while he searches the roads to see if she has broken down.  Shelley is more than happy to help. She struggles about sharing Jill’s confidence one that might be a lead and something that might hurt Mitchell’s feelings. In sharing this it would betray her friend’s trust. But how would she feel if this really turned out to be something.

Debra Raney pens a heart felt, believable story that had me instantly care for and agonize with her main characters as they try to find Jill Brannon – wife, mother of two, BFF to Shelley, and teacher in a school to many. These characters and their journey will stay in your heart long after you’ve closed the book. I recommend you add this to your summer reading list!

Reviewed by: Nora St.Laurent

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