Silent Pledge

Hannah Alexander, Author Bethany House Publishers $11.99 (352p) ISBN 978-0-7642-2444-7
Readers seeking an honestDif flawedDChristian novel will appreciate this earnest effort. In smalltown Knolls, Mo., health crises abound: a seven-year-old girl is afflicted with cystic fibrosis; a despairing fireman's wife has attempted suicide; another woman has been beaten by her husband; an older man has suffered a stroke. Dr. Mercy Richmond and Dr. Lukas Bower tend these souls and bodies. Alexander (a pseudonym for a husband and wife writer-doctor team) manages to weave theological questions into this narrative with a light touch. When Mercy wonders why God allows Crystal to suffer so much, her musings are credible. Also refreshingly subtle is the attraction between Mercy and Lukas. While readers will divine the love interest early on, Alexander develops that plot line with subtlety. Nor are Christians presented in an unrealistically rosy light: one of Lukas's paramedics mentions that when her mother was dying, none of her fellow church members bothered to check on her, and Mercy later reminds her daughter that ""even Christians aren't perfect."" But the novel's not perfect, either. As a sequel, it sags; Alexander should have provided a little more information from the previous two books, Sacred Trust and Solemn Oath. Eventually, we learn that Mercy is divorced from her husband, a new Christian who has reformed his hard-drinking ways, but too many pages elapse before we grasp that background. And some of the plot lines tie up too conveniently. Readers searching for uplift, however, may be happy to overlook these flaws. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 12/04/2000
Release date: 12/01/2000
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FORMATS
Mass Market Paperbound - 408 pages - 978-0-373-78658-9
Open Ebook - 978-1-4268-4172-9
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-299-30589-2
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