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Widowed mother of six. Wanna-be-photographer. Black sheep. Pariah.

Miranda Hanford knows all too well how these define her.  She might even add oppressed and bullied to that list. 

When the pastor of Miranda’s church requires the entire congregation to move with him out-of-state, Miranda knows she can’t do it.  She also knows now would be the perfect time to break from Mason Chandler and his ministry. Mason, however, has other ideas.  And he’s not above blackmailing her to get what he wants.

Set in rural Georgia, I was hooked by the end of the first paragraph which said, “She could steal a moment with Jezebel.”  Initially, I started reading with the intention of this being the book to read after dinner each night of the week.  By 10 pm, I knew I would have to stop and finish the rest later.  But I didn’t want to.

I loved Miranda.  I understood her motivation, and recognized how, all those years later, she woke up somewhere entirely different from what she had imagined as an adolescent.  Her fear was palpable; her pain unmistakable; the conflict in her soul evident.

Then there’s the accident and a relatively unknown brother-in-law to complicate things even more. Miranda struggles for control- control of any kind, even through the haze of her head and other injuries.

On page 97, there is a comment that still has me chuckling: “Not all homeschoolers were nut bags, but many of the nut bags in a certain off brand of Christianity were homeschoolers.”  As a homeschooling mama, I know all too well how easy it is to paint everyone with the same brush.  It made me chuckle, though, because where I live, there are a lot of homeschoolers.  And we’re not nut bags.  😆

I love thinking and guessing during mysteries.  While I had part of it right, the primary part led to a world with which I also have first-hand experience (although not to all facets), and also left me nodding my head.  Without going into details and spoiling it,  I can say that these things happen and are real.  And probably happening much more than any of us know.

I cannot say enough good about this book.  I loved it! I would definitely recommend this to friends. 

While I know some might disparage the depiction of this particular homeschooling family (and others who homeschool in this manner), I, personally, wasn’t bothered by it.  I think any time you look at an extreme example of anything, there are going to be people who assume everyone else doing “that” are the same way.  Judging, in my opinion, particularly without insight or experience, really is a personal problem for the person doing the judging.

I give this book 5 stars out of 5. 

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

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