Title:  Tessa, From Fear to Faith
Author:  Melissa Wiltrout
Pages:  275
Year:  2013
Publisher:  Life Sentence Publishing, LLC
Tessa Miner is a young teenage girl who is forced by her abusive father to help him make and sell meth.  She doesn’t want to do this, but if she refuses, he will punish her with a beating.  Her father also drinks a lot of alcohol and uses drugs too.  Her mother would rather ignore what her father is doing and just try not to make him too angry.  Her parents argue constantly at the shouting level.  Tessa is desperate to get away from this awful living situation with her parents.  She has run away before, but was caught and brought home, receiving a beating from her father.  Tessa’s school work suffers because of the late hours working in the meth lab and then having to get up to go to school.  She also is suffering from physical side effects of being around the chemicals and drugs during the manufacturing process.
After a particular episode where her father beats her mother, Tessa runs to the neighbors close by.  They are an older Christian couple whose granddaughter goes to school with Tessa and has tried to make friends with Tessa.  This couple takes Tessa in and talks to her about God.  She begins to believe God loves her.  She begins going to church with this couple and they in turn come in contact with Tessa’s father and mother and begin to talk about the gospel with Tessa’s parents.
I think this book should be categorized as a Young Adult book rather than General Fiction as it is told from the point of view of a young teenage girl and follows her life.  There are some cruel and physically abusive scenes in the story.  I thought the author did a credible job in having readers identify with Tessa’s great fear of her Walter as well as her frustration and incredulity in regards to her mother’s indifference and lying.  I think the depiction of Tessa’s guilt and shame very realistic.  It did make me think of the many children facing equally horrendous living conditions.  I did think the instantaneous conversions to becoming Christians that occurred for a couple of people were a bit unrealistic though.
My rating is 4 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 http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspot.com/.  Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/lisa.johnson.75457
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