cover image Need You Now

Need You Now

Beth Wiseman. Thomas Nelson, $15.99 trade paper (320p) ISBN 978-1-59554-887-0

Wiseman (Daughters of the Promise series) leaves the Amish category that she does successfully in this well-plotted but middling contemporary set in Texas. Darlene and Brad Henderson and their three children are new arrivals in the small town of Round Top, Tex., where they have fled to an old family farm seeking a psychologically better environment for the teens and preteen. Darlene feels isolated and takes her first job outside the home, working with special-needs children. The job causes Brad to wonder if Darlene is neglecting the family, especially when a crisis occurs with one of the children. Wiseman has written an edgy Christian novel: one of the characters gets drunk, and a powerful extramarital temptation drives action. Other premises are safe ones: some women readers will find Brad’s disapproving attitude toward Darlene’s job either quaint or offensive. Wiseman ambitiously tackles major contemporary issues, but her characters are a little too stereotypical to satisfy. Agent: Mary Sue Seymour. (Apr.)