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The Face to the Earth

Title:  The Face of the Earth
Author:  Deborah Raney
Pages:  368
Year:  2013
Publisher:  Howard
                Bravo!  This story is both captivating and beyond description.  It is part mystery, part romance, with faith being the centerpiece and cornerstone to the story.  The author writes with a heart of understanding for people who really have lived through tragedies that rock their world forever changing the landscape of normal.  Here is a fictional work that gives readers a glimpse of lives changed when a person disappears without a trace, not knowing the answers to questions that arise from the person’s absence every day.
                Mitchell and Jill are now empty nesters with both children away at college, Jill is a third grade teacher with one school, and Mitchell is a principal.  After shedding an abundance of tears because her daughter just left for college, Jill goes to a teachers’ conference to help refocus her life now with only her husband and dog at home.  Jill calls letting Mitchell know she is on her way home, but she never shows up.  Minutes turn to hours, hours to days and days to months, without much progress made on what happened to Jill or where she could be.
                The novel shows the possible thoughts and challenges the family goes through when all hope seems lost, especially as Mitchell doesn’t feel free because of lack of closure.  Jill’s best friend becomes a support and aid to the whole family throughout this trial.  Shelley is like a sister to Jill, a prayer warrior and helping the family wade through the outpouring of meals, cares and phone calls.  In time, Shelley finds that now she and Mitchell have developed their own friendship, but can anything else develop?
                At the end of the novel, the author shares a heart-filled note to the readers about the various themes addressed in the novel.  I really became engrossed in the story as I turned each page, watching the characters go through hope-filled leads only to find despair.  Personally, I haven’t dealt with anything remotely comparable to the story, but I saw the wisdom of God in the way the author tells the story.
                Ultimately, having to let go without having all our answers to our multitude of questions is a true test of our hearts and emotions when we don’t see the total picture or ending in sight.  Can we release ourselves or our loved ones to God without feeling the pressure to find them?  How do we live each day without any closure to the wounds life has brought?  I agree with the author that we need to seek the Lord and obey however He moves our hearts.  Whether you have experienced someone just disappearing or not, I am sure you will find hope, encouragement and enjoyment in reading The Face of the Earth.
                My rating is 5+ stars.
Note:  I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book.  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility.  Other reviews can be read at .  Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at
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