Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Book Review: "Stranger Things" by Erin Healy

Photo credit: Erin Healy
In her new novel, Stranger Things (Thomas Nelson Publishers), Erin Healy explores the Celtic concept of thin places, the ever growing sex-trafficking trade in America, and the idea of a person sacrificing their life for a complete stranger.  High School teacher, Serena’s, world gets turned upside down when a student accuses her of the unthinkable.  She retreats to her very own sanctuary to process, only to discover she is not the only one drawn to this secluded spot.  She crosses paths with a sex-trafficker.  Not only is her reputation at risk, but now her life is as well and a complete stranger steps in and sacrifices his life to save hers.  This stranger, Christopher, has a personal mission to save young girls from the underground world of sex-trafficking.  He started by rescuing his sister, Amber, and from there started a non-profit along with two friends.  Christopher and his colleagues suspect Serena to be not only connected, but heavily involved in John Roman's sex trade ring, the man who lured in Amber.  Serena continuously finds herself entangled in a web she did not know was there.  As soon as she finds a truth she seemingly uncovers more lies.  Unsure who to turn to she struggles to find a way to clear her name, then to clear it again, to figure out why a complete stranger would die for her, and the meaning behind the “visions” she sees when at the abandoned fire house where Christopher died.

The lines between chapters become unclear, not because the story is so, but because the plot line is continuously moving at a fast pace.The pages turn without recognition of number, the cover refusing to close.  Unique to this story is the concept of thin places; the Celtic idea of places where the spiritual and physical veil is so thin one can see through it. They blur the line between fact and fiction, when in truth there may be no line at all.  That is something Serena, while not the lone character to experience thin places, is trying to continuously figure out.

While the challenges these characters face are most likely not completely universal, they pry eyes open to a monstrosity that most are unaware exist so close to home.  Sex-trafficking tends to be thought of an oversea trade, but is the third highest growing crime.  The “stranger” concept however is quite universal.  The idea of a stranger sacrificing their life is as old as time.  This novel in itself not only has so many layers that it begs to be read twice, but it is in itself a “thin place.”

Stranger Things is to be released December 31, 2013 and can be preordered here.  It is a story that challenges how deep a strangers actions can change one life; how one action can effect a decision to change the outcome of events.  As Healy says in Stranger Things, “If everyone only cared about one other person, we’d all be okay.”

Learn more about Erin Healy and connect with her on social media sites via the attached link.

*This book was provided for review by the author via NetGalley*

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this wonderful review, Tabitha. I'm thrilled you liked the book!