cover image A Seahorse in the Thames

A Seahorse in the Thames

Susan Meissner, . . Harvest House, $12.99 (325pp) ISBN 978-0-7369-1760-5

Christian novelist Meissner (A Window to the World ; Why the Sky Is Blue ) introduces the Poole family, who were happy once upon a time until, teenage daughter Rebecca was left with permanent brain damage after a car accident; the parents divorced, and Dad remarried a little too soon. Daughter Priscilla's anger propelled her across the Atlantic Ocean, and she has stayed in England ever since. Priscilla's twin, Alexa, has been left to hold things together as best she can—she visits her mom regularly, makes nice with her dad's new wife and checks in weekly at the group home where Rebecca's been stashed. But the Pooles' fragile equilibrium is shattered when Alexa has a health scare, and, if that's not troubling enough, Rebecca disappears, leaving behind only a mysterious note. Was she kidnapped? Did she leave of her own free will? Rebecca's disappearance sets in motion a series of events that will change the Poole family forever, either drawing them closer together or tearing them apart. Throughout, the dialogue is a tad stilted, and Alexa's romantic interest in her handyman distracts from the central emotional thrust of the novel—the tension and possible reconciliation among various family members. Still, the characters are well-developed and the plot moves along briskly. Fans of Jamie Langston Turner will enjoy this inspirational novel. (July)