The Victory Club
Robin Lee Hatcher, . . Tyndale, $12.99 (368pp) ISBN 978-0-8423-7666-2
Veteran Christian fiction author Hatcher weaves epistolary elements with third-person omniscient narration in this moving novel about a year in the life of four Idaho women working at a Boise air field during WWII. Lucy, Margo, Penelope and Dotty all have loved ones serving in the military, and each reacts differently to the hardships of war. Three of them are Christians, and rather than making them cardboard saints, Hatcher depicts each one struggling with and giving in to sin. As each woman deals with the consequences of her sin, the novel's dominant theme becomes grace. For example, when Dotty realizes that a premarital liaison with her soldier boyfriend has led to pregnancy, she experiences God's forgiveness and finds the courage to face her difficult situation. Hatcher includes V-mail and news clippings to good effect, making this novel's wartime setting believable without resorting to cliché. She is not afraid to leave some of her characters unredeemed, and in contrast to much of the sentimental Christian fiction geared toward women, this novel embraces complexity rather than eschewing it. A well-paced and genuinely suspenseful plot plus Hatcher's pleasingly smooth prose make this novel a delight.
Reviewed on: 05/16/2005