STRANGER IN THEIR MIDST by Hope Dahle Jordan

STRANGER IN THEIR MIDST

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KIRKUS REVIEW

What does it take to turn the labyrinthine corridors of the community-oriented downtown church into a stage for mystery and mayhem? First, there's controversial youth leader Stan Luff who makes the building a refuge (or is it hideout) for some of the town's wilder kids. Then well meaning SaraMartha in her temporary position as church secretary allows a family of shivering migrants to take shelter at night in the empty building. Soon the church becomes a hangout for the noisy ruffians led by trustee's son Chuck Rinslow, stolen goods start turning up among the rummage sale donations, and Sara--who in any case has a phobic fear of the church sanctuary--has to rely on the migrant, Yeacy, to keep control. As if all this weren't enough, a spell of heavy rain changes--without warning--into a flash flood, making Downtown a haven for the survivors and transforming Yeachy (real name Jesus)into a martyr when he dies trying to save thoroughly nasty Chuck from drowning. SaraMartha never expected so much excitement when she took the job, but she's borne along on the rising tide of muck--others will lose their bearings about the time the flood swamps a tale of petty deliquency with the heavy symbolism of Christian self sacrifice. Flimsy and overloaded.

Pub Date: Sept. 9th, 1974
Page count: 160pp
Publisher: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard