I received this book in my swag bag at the Christian Fiction Readers’ Retreat (CFRR) and it was the first one I read as it was small and I was waiting for the next book in the current series I was reading. I love suspense/mystery, but I’m not really into Amish fiction; although I’m not actually sure if I’ve ever read one before, it just hasn’t seemed to interest me.
Anyway, I decided to give this one a try. The main character is Rebecca Miller, a former Amish girl who decided to leave the faith after her rumspringa. She also happens to be deaf. During her rumspringa, she and three other teenagers were kidnapped and held in a basement for two days. Only three of them were found alive.
The book begins when Rebecca is 25 or 26 years old, 10 years after the attack. She is a rather nervous person after what she’s been through, especially considering she can’t hear an attacker coming. Dana starts with the action right away. Seriously, the suspense starts building on the first page and something big happens on page three. I think every single chapter had something big happen, keeping up the intensity and suspense; it was fantastic.
It’s one of those small books that you can read in a day or two, and I tend not to get those too much because the stories don’t feel too fleshed out, but this one did not have that problem. I felt like I had read a regular sized novel. The story and the way she set up the plot were very enjoyable.
Another aspect of the novel that I loved was the look at deaf culture. The associate pastor at the church where I both attend and work and his wife adopted a young girl from Haiti (who is now 21 or 22) who turned out to be deaf. This caused them to learn ASL to speak with their daughter. The wife started a class at our church teaching sign language and I attended. It has been a wonderful experience getting to know her daughter better, learning ASL (to an extent), and learning about deaf culture. It seems like she really did her research into deaf culture (I’m not sure if Dana has any history with deaf people) because everything she said matches what I learned.
For example, you would think that parents of a deaf child would learn sign language to speak with their child, at least if it’s available, but many do not or only learn enough to get by. Imagine how isolating that would be? That’s why Rebecca decides to no longer be Amish. Only two of her siblings can really sign and she can’t even understand a sermon as no one is signing it to her. Once she leaves, she is able to actually learn more about God and grow closer to him as more resources are made available to her.
Dana also mentions some of the technology like lights that flash when someone rings the doorbell or a relay service where she can sign to an interpreter who will talk to the hearing person on the other end of the line and then sign back to the deaf person what the hearing person says.
This is a book I would recommend to friends. It’s suspenseful, informative, and enjoyable. I’m glad I read it, and I’ll probably read it again.