Inspiring stories of people saving one another from physical and spiritual peril.

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FROM FAITH TO FAITH

Two novellas about losing and finding God in unlikely ways.

Both these stories by debut author Walker ask the question: If we ignore God, will he ignore us? In “Mack’s Destiny,” Macklin “Mack” McGregor is a pleasure-seeking man who was born into a Christian family, but he’s long since strayed from the religious path. His story alternates with that of his lifelong friend Destiny Harding, a single mother whose poor choices have left her with two children by two different men. She recently took a vow of celibacy until marriage—something Mack can’t understand—and she hopes to make better choices for herself and her children in the future. But the past keeps stalking her: Her ex-boyfriend Tucker tracks her down, determined to “see [Destiny] dead before he let anybody else have her.” As Mack develops feelings for Destiny despite himself, he also faces Tucker’s violent jealousy and anger. In the end, however, Mack’s attachment to Destiny might just save Mack from himself. The second novella, “Reva’s Journey,” explores similar themes. Reva Mitchell is on the run after she witnesses a shooting in a Detroit club. The police put her in protective custody, and she abandons her city life and heads to rural Indigo Beach, Mich., where a kind pastor named Deon and a born-again Christian named Melvin Harris offer her safety and inspiration. As she pieces her life back together, she encounters Destiny Harding (from the previous novella), who once more plays a pivotal role in helping a lost soul. These tightly written stories work best when they address the metaphorical dangers that a person faces when he or she loses his or her way. Each is well-written and exciting and they both offer adventure, surprises and messages of religious inspiration. These highly readable, thought-provoking tales will hit home with spiritually minded readers.

Inspiring stories of people saving one another from physical and spiritual peril.

Pub Date: July 22, 2013

ISBN: 978-1449798451

Page Count: 252

Publisher: Westbow Press

Review Posted Online: Feb. 18, 2016

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The writing is merely serviceable, and one can’t help but wish the author had found a way to present her material as...

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THE TATTOOIST OF AUSCHWITZ

An unlikely love story set amid the horrors of a Nazi death camp.

Based on real people and events, this debut novel follows Lale Sokolov, a young Slovakian Jew sent to Auschwitz in 1942. There, he assumes the heinous task of tattooing incoming Jewish prisoners with the dehumanizing numbers their SS captors use to identify them. When the Tätowierer, as he is called, meets fellow prisoner Gita Furman, 17, he is immediately smitten. Eventually, the attraction becomes mutual. Lale proves himself an operator, at once cagey and courageous: As the Tätowierer, he is granted special privileges and manages to smuggle food to starving prisoners. Through female prisoners who catalog the belongings confiscated from fellow inmates, Lale gains access to jewels, which he trades to a pair of local villagers for chocolate, medicine, and other items. Meanwhile, despite overwhelming odds, Lale and Gita are able to meet privately from time to time and become lovers. In 1944, just ahead of the arrival of Russian troops, Lale and Gita separately leave the concentration camp and experience harrowingly close calls. Suffice it to say they both survive. To her credit, the author doesn’t flinch from describing the depravity of the SS in Auschwitz and the unimaginable suffering of their victims—no gauzy evasions here, as in Boy in the Striped Pajamas. She also manages to raise, if not really explore, some trickier issues—the guilt of those Jews, like the tattooist, who survived by doing the Nazis’ bidding, in a sense betraying their fellow Jews; and the complicity of those non-Jews, like the Slovaks in Lale’s hometown, who failed to come to the aid of their beleaguered countrymen.

The writing is merely serviceable, and one can’t help but wish the author had found a way to present her material as nonfiction. Still, this is a powerful, gut-wrenching tale that is hard to shake off.

Pub Date: Sept. 4, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-06-279715-5

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2018

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THE SCREWTAPE LETTERS

These letters from some important executive Down Below, to one of the junior devils here on earth, whose job is to corrupt mortals, are witty and written in a breezy style seldom found in religious literature. The author quotes Luther, who said: "The best way to drive out the devil, if he will not yield to texts of Scripture, is to jeer and flout him, for he cannot bear scorn." This the author does most successfully, for by presenting some of our modern and not-so-modern beliefs as emanating from the devil's headquarters, he succeeds in making his reader feel like an ass for ever having believed in such ideas. This kind of presentation gives the author a tremendous advantage over the reader, however, for the more timid reader may feel a sense of guilt after putting down this book. It is a clever book, and for the clever reader, rather than the too-earnest soul.

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 1942

ISBN: 0060652934

Page Count: 53

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 17, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1943

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