Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Widow of Saunders Creek by Tracey Bateman

Corrie Saunders grew up in a life of privilege. But she gave it all up for Jarrod., her Army husband, a man she knew was a hero when she vowed to spend her life with him. She just didn't expect her hero to sacrifice his life taking on an Iraqi suicide bomber.

Six months after Jarrod's death, Corrie retreats to the family home her husband inherited deep in the Missouri Ozarks. She doesn't know how to live without Jarrod -she doesn't even want to try. By moving to Saunders Creek and living in a house beloved by him, she hopes that somehow her Jarrod will come back to her. Something about the house seems to even suggest that maybe Jarrod has come back. Corries begins to wonder if she is actually feeling Jarrod's presence with her in the house.

Jarrod's cousin Eli is helping Corrie with the house's restoration and he knows that his dead cousin is not what Corries senses. Eli, a pastor whose faith puts him at odds with his mystically oriented relatives, knows there is more to this presence than Corrie believes. Can he convince Corries that letting go of Jarrod will lead to finding her footing again-and to the One who will never leave her?

The Widow of Saunders Creek was a truly interesting and frightening look into demonic forces and those who serve them. The plot line was well crafted and flowed easily from Eli to Corrie's perspectives. There were instances of romance, mystery, horror, and suspense. The story was realistic, and I could tell that Tracey Bateman had researched and interviewed mediums to relay the true horror of communicating with evil spirits. The author did an excellent job revealing the truth of the danger that lies in speaking with demons and the reality that only the power of Jesus can banish those spirits.

The characters were also well developed and portrayed in this novel. I enjoyed watching Corrie recover from the loss of her husband and her slow return to God and a relationship with Him. The author did a great job revealing Corrie's thoughts and feelings and her reactions to the presence in her home. Eli was an awesome character as well. He was smart, kind, and truly cared for Corrie. He was not without his flaws, however, and his journey through forgiving Jarrod and letting go of bitterness was inspiring. The other minor characters were well rounded and supported Eli and Corrie well as foils or as supporting characters.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. Tracey Bateman developed the plot line and characters well, and both were very informative and realistic. Her themes of forgiveness, spiritual and emotional healing, and the danger of communicating with demons were clear and well presented. I would highly recommend this novel, and I cannot wait to read more of Tracey's novels. You can read the first chapter Here and check out the author's website here.

I received this novel for free from Waterbrook Multnomah Press in exchange for an honest review.

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