Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Face of the Earth

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Author: Deborah Raney
Publisher: Howard Books
May 2013
ISBN: 978-1416599975
Genre: Contemporary

What if she never came home . . . ?

When Mitchell Brannon’s beloved wife sets off for home after a conference, he has no idea that his life is about to change forever. Mitch returns from work early that evening, surprised that Jill’s car isn’t in the garage. But her voice on the answering machine makes him smile. “Hey, babe, I’m just now checking out of the hotel, but I’ll stop and pick up something for dinner. Love you.” Hours later, Jill still hasn’t returned, and Mitch’s irritation turns to dread.

When the police come up empty, Mitch enlists the help of their next-door neighbor, Jill’s best friend, Shelley, to help search. As hours turn into days and days into weeks, Mitch and Shelley’s friendship grows ever closer—and decidedly more complicated. Every lead seems to be a dead end, and Mitch wonders how he can honor the vows he made to a woman who has seemingly disappeared from the face of the earth.

THE FACE OF THE EARTH is Ms. Raney’s most recent book. It has the potential of being a page-turner, and a tear-jerker. Mitch’s wife has vanished and he’s desperate to find her. But this is also complicated by his wife’s best friend—who he suddenly realizes he has feelings for. Neither of the two main characters have much depth—I couldn’t force myself to care for them.  I figured how the story would end, from the beginning and it was predictable, not veering from the way I thought it would go. But it is also kind of sad.

Some readers will love Ms. Raney’s newest book. I’m disappointed I wasn’t one of them. I liked it okay. I didn’t love it. It is very well written, has the potential of being real—and maybe would make a good movie. 3.5 stars. $14.99. 368 pages. 

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 Meet Deb:

Deborah Raney is the award-winning author of several novels, including "A Nest of Sparrows" and the RITA award winning "Beneath a Southern Sky" and its sequel, "After the Rains". Deborah's first novel, "A Vow to Cherish", was the inspiration for World Wide Pictures' highly acclaimed film of the same title, which in December 2004 aired on prime time network TV for the second time. Deb's novella, "Playing by Heart", was a National Readers Choice Award winner and a 2004 Christy Award finalist. Her novel for Howard/Simon & Schuster, "Yesterday's Embers", appeared on the ECPA Christian fiction bestseller list. Known for her sensitive portrayal of family struggles and relationships, Deb has also written nonfiction books and articles and often speaks at women's retreats and writers' conferences around the country. She and her husband, illustrator/author Ken Raney, have four children and make their home in Kansas. 

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