From Publishers Weekly
In this haunting tale, a seasoned author (Margaret's Peace) explores the mind of a domestic violence victim, inviting readers to peer in at Sadie's "marriage full of secrets." When Sadie married Troy, she was impressed by his ministry of "righting wrongs." But even as she longs for them to be a normal Christian couple, Troy's smothering control gradually sucks her into a horrifying spiral of abuse. Sadie comes to believe the problems in her marriage are her fault. "Maybe," she thinks, "all I need is to buckle down, start making lists, learn to manage my time better, watch what I eat, pray more, have devotions every morning." As she struggles with Troy's escalating anger, which spills over into the lives of their five children, she befriends Judith, whose only child, Ally, has disappeared. When she finds Ally's paintings in Troy's workshop, Sadie is tormented by the question: is his dark side even darker than she knows? Hall is adept at giving the reader just enough information to build suspense and using symbols to add dimension to the story. The church is portrayed evenhandedly as both an imperfect entity that aids the abuser and a caring group of people that comes to the aid of the victim. Although several fine novels dealing with domestic violence and the church have been released recently (Velma Still Cooks in Leeway; Serenity Bay), this title adds a fresh and welcome voice to the chorus.
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*Starred Review* In Sadie's Song
Hall turns from her contemplative mysteries to the finely wrought character of Sadie Thornton, a stay-at-home mom with an obsessive, rule-bound husband who, when his job goes sour, begins to beat her. Wife abuse within Christian families has become a common theme in Christian fiction. Hall's effort is distinguished because of her understanding of the dreary minutiae of Sadie's life, expressed subtly and lyrically: "Crocuses are finished and the daffodils are up and blooming, and two little girls have disappeared, one was found dead, and everything is perfect and fine in this life of mine." Nothing much happens in Hall's novel, and her mystery plot is vestigial, but Sadie is believable and affecting. John MortCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved