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Forever Faithful (Women of Prayer Book 4) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 216 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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The eldest daughter Ashley, unknown to her mother and father, has been befriended by a girl named Brandi and begins being a courier for her. She makes good money, and she’s happy. She’s smart enough not to ask questions, and soon a young, attractive man shows her attention. In order to cover up her extra activities, Ashley pays her sister to keep quiet and lies to her grandmother and pastor’s wife.
Ashley’s a girl who knows the Lord as her Savior, but she needs attention and affirmation. Soon, she finds herself in the very worst situation of her life.
At the same time, her family is searching for her, trying, along with the police, to piece together what might have happened to their daughter.
Jackie and Greg and the kids grow and change and become stronger. So does Ashley.
The story continues with an interesting plot twist. I didn’t expect it.
This book is a little wordier than I usually enjoy, but it’s good writing, interesting, and the characters are good. I especially liked the last part of this book with its vision. Forever Faithful is strongly Christian. It brings up themes of grooming, human trafficking, the trauma of kidnapping, women in politics, and family values. It emphasizes the good that comes from sharing one’s faith. A very pleasant, edifying, and entertaining read.
I would recommend this to older teen girls and adults. Anything of a sexual nature is alluded to but not explained. There is some physical, non-sexual violence.
Darlene wove a masterful tale, there is no doubt about that. The main characters were fully developed, and the side characters hinted at stories of their own... which I now realize they each do indeed have their own, throughout the rest of the series. At times, though, the author is a little wordy, and I found myself trudging through portions of the book. I often would feel like this was an incredibly long story. Once I finished it and looked up the page count (because my kindle version doesn't include that), I was surprised that it is actually relatively short.
The dialogue between the characters often seemed unrealistic. I suppose there are Christians out there that really do put Christ at the very center of every single conversation... in fact, I have one friend who is exactly like that. But in all my years of being a Christian, I've never met anyone else like that, so it seemed a little like overkill. It had me sometimes fidgeting in my seat wondering if I would ever get through the book.
However, the story was engaging, and heart-wrenching, and every mother's worst nightmare. No mother knows everything her teenage daughter is doing. I know I didn't know what my daughters were up to all the time! And I'm grateful that my own mother didn't know the half of it when I was that age. Having read this book, I'm even more filled with gratitude that I never had to experience (as a mother or as a daughter) the terror that this family endured.
About halfway or a little more through the book, I forgot about the unrealistic dialogue among the adults. By that time, the mother was becoming way more realistic than I'd thought she could, becoming bitter and depressed and completely withdrawing from her spiritual support network. At the same time, the plight of her daughter was unfolding in horrifying detail. I would say that for at least the last third of the book, I was having trouble focusing through my tears.
It's some strong subject matter, and it's a story that will haunt me for a long time. One phrase that I hope to always remember is when an elderly family friend told the young teen 'You don't want to know how far and how wide God will let you run to get your attention and save your soul." (or something like that.) Very memorable. As the story came near to an end, I found myself hoping that if I am ever danger of any sort, that I can have half the strength to stand up for Jesus.
There were some editing errors in this book. Not enough to annoy me too much, and most of them seemed to be the lack of a space separating the end of one sentence from the next. Still, there weren't more than a half dozen or so instances in the book. I've seen far worse.
I like the fact that the book is unashamedly Christian - there are several mini-sermons woven throughout the story, and frequent references to praying and Jesus being the Savior. It was also nice to encounter characters from previous books in this series and see how they've grown.
One thing I really like about this series is the questions at the end for small-group study. These may be works of fiction, but they deal with real life trials that Christians live through. Many good topics to discuss and learn from. And outstanding read.