Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Every Hill and Mountain, by Deborah Heal

Abby and John are back, and once again doing some time surfing.  This adventure involves trying to research the family tree of Abby's best friend, Kate.  Kate has traced her ancestry to a man named Ned Greenfield, in the small town of Equality.  The town looks old fashioned and idealistic, but slowly the sleuthing team discovers that not all is as it seems on the surface.  They discover the town has a deeply held secret, one that has a significant impact on Kate's family.

I am completely enchanted with this series.  I think that this third book may be my favorite yet, because it truly elicited emotional responses from me.  First off, we have some of the old characters that we know and love from the previous books.  I enjoy watching Abby and John's relationship evolve.  They truly function as a team, and it reminds me of my marriage.  I also liked having the storyline involve Kate a lot more.  While as a character I really disliked Kate's boyfriend Ryan, he was well written, and served a distinct purpose in the plot.

Speaking of the plot, I really loved the storyline, with a big emphasis on slavery, and the darker side of the slave trade in 19th century America.  This plot was emotional, not only due to it's actual historical context, but in light of all the people in today's world who are still denied their rights and freedoms.  Given the historical context, the language and themes are a little more uncomfortable than in the previous books in the series, but I think it is important the the author tackled them in an honest way.

I never had any doubt that this third book would be fantastic, based on how much I liked the first two, but this surpassed my expectations.  The book is Christian fiction, but the emphasis on evangelism is very low.  Violence and sexuality are mildly present within the appropriate context of the story, but by and large this is a very clean book, one that a parent would feel comfortable allowing a teen to read.

I received a review copy courtesy of the author in exchange for my honest review.




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