THE SEAT BESIDE ME

Nancy Moser, Author . Multnomah $10.99 (368p) ISBN 978-1-57673-884-9

Where is God in the midst of appalling tragedy? Moser follows up her inspirational Mustard Seed series of novels by exploring the timely topic of random chance versus divine will. In a few seconds, Sun Fun Airlines Flight 1382 goes from takeoff to nightmare, as the plane crashes into a heavily trafficked bridge, then plunges into a frigid river. Ninety-seven people are dead, and five passengers are left to wonder why they are alive. The survivors, three women and two men, re-examine their priorities and ideas about God, while journalist Dora Roberts struggles with the temptation to indulge in sensationalist exploitation of the disaster as she covers the aftermath for the Chronicle. Despite writing from multiple points of view, Moser keeps the story line clear and the pacing steady. However, like many recent Christian fiction releases, the novel is too long; it also includes a seven-page dialogue between Tina and another character that mostly functions to present the plan for salvation. Readers will have to stretch their imaginations to believe that the characters share as much personal information as they do with their seatmates in the long delay before takeoff. However, Moser makes the stretch worth the effort. As the survivors mull over why they were spared, Moser admirably demonstrates that tragedy is a life-changing opportunity, in which reassessments and changes for the better are possible. This is upbeat news that many Christian readers will appreciate after recent tragic events. (Jan.)

Reviewed on: 11/19/2001
Release date: 02/01/2002
Open Ebook - 243 pages - 978-0-307-78107-9
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