To Save Her Child
About This Book
When a young boy goes missing from wilderness day camp, Alaskan search and rescue worker Josiah Witherspoon is on the case. The brooding ex-Marine promises to find the child and return him to his worried mother. But he doesn’t know that Ella Jackson has a secret past. Once that could put them all in danger. When tensions mount, Ella needs to tell Josiah the truth—but she can’t set aside her fears enough to trust him. Ella and Josiah are ready to risk their lives to save her son, but will they risk their hearts as well?
I love stories set in Alaska and, while I typically shy away from Love Inspired books in favor of longer, more complex stories, this premise of a single mom and a SAR volunteer intrigued me enough to want to read it. And for the most part, I enjoyed this book. It wasn’t a deeply engaging novel in which I felt really connected to the characters or was on the edge of my seat with nail-biting suspense, but it was a very fast read and provided enough entertainment for a couple hours’ escape.
I enjoyed how the story turned out to be so much more than just the lost-boy-at-camp angle the book’s description led me to expect. Daley actually developed her story in greater detail, working in ancillary threats and potential villains to good effect. I didn’t realize until after I read this book that it was the second of a series, but the characters were engaging enough that I felt like going back to find the first book in this series, and would definitely be interested in reading a sequel, as many of the secondary characters here were well-poised to carry their own stories.
I enjoyed the spiritual themes of sacrifice, putting your life on the line for someone else’s, and surrendering to God’s greater plan for one’s life, two concepts I could easily relate to. While Ella’s violent past was hinted at, and the story included some harrowing scenes of stalkers, kidnappers, and children in peril, I found any possibly-questionable content to be very tactfully handled, with nothing included for mere shock value and all relevant to carry the story action forward. As such, this book would be appropriate for inspirational suspense fans of all ages.
There were some technical issues with the writing of the book that kept me from getting fully pulled into the story. Ella and Josiah are the two point-of-view characters, and a common mistake I found in this book is that the author “head-hopped” between them—suddenly inserting one character’s unspoken thoughts or reactions into a scene when, up to that point, she had been writing from the other character’s POV. Also, despite this novel’s short length, there could have been less telling and more showing, to really help me connect with the characters and experience moments with them, instead of simply telling me how they feel. Ella and Josiah also tended to talk to themselves not only frequently, but repetitively, expressing identical internal thoughts over and over. The Alaskan setting also felt a bit underdeveloped for me, but I was able to form enough of a mental picture in most scenes to be able to visualize them in my mind while I read.
While To Save Her Child wasn’t the kind of story I would adapt for prime-time television, it did posses a kind of after-school special or Saturday-morning escapist charm that made for a very entertaining read.
Available February 3, 2015 from Love Inspired Suspense