cover image The Girl from the Papers

The Girl from the Papers

Jennifer L. Wright. Tyndale, $26.99 (368p) ISBN 978-1-496-47756-9

In the captivating latest from Wright (If It Rains), the gritty realities of the Great Depression force a woman into a life of crime. Beatrice Carraway and her family have always struggled financially, and when her childhood pageant career ends at age nine, so do the winnings that helped to keep the West Texas family afloat. Not long after, her mother marries Charles Thomas, a strict and religious man who abuses Beatrice and her sister. After fleeing Charles, the three live with the girls’ grandparents. As the Depression sets in, moneymaking opportunities dry up until Beatrice, now 19, meets and falls for Jack Turner, a charismatic small-time thief who brings her onto the wrong side of the law. After Jack does a stint in prison for a robbery gone wrong, Beatrice, at the urging of her faithful sister-in-law Alli, begins reading the Bible and starts to reconnect with her Christian faith, a fraught proposition given her early experiences with her authoritarian stepfather. Alli, however, introduces Beatrice to a loving God that promises rescue from the increasingly dangerous path she finds herself on, though she’ll have to resist the allure of easy money to do so. Wright’s tightly plotted historical offers a nuanced exploration of how faith can serve as a cudgel for submission or a source of salvation. Wright’s fans will be riveted. (Aug.)