Monday, May 27, 2013

The Face of the Earth

Book Review

The tension builds immediately – and continues throughout the book. The Face of the Earth by Deborah Raney is a mystery that pulls the reader in from the first chapter. It made me stop and question – what would it be like to have someone you loved deeply just disappear? How could someone just drop from the face of the earth? Mitchell Brannon’s wife Jill called from a hotel in Kansas City, three hours away, and said she was starting for home. She never showed up. I had trouble getting my mind around the idea. How can someone just disappear without a trace?

Mitchell lived in limbo for almost a year. Raney does an excellent job of showing what the extreme consequences are when a loved one is just gone and no one knows what happens. Mitchell’s wife Jill had a best friend, Shelley, who lived next door. The ordeal is difficult for Shelley too; and she and Mitchell naturally are drawn together in their search for Jill. After several months they feel an attraction toward one another but know that Mitch gave a vow to Jill that they would be together until death parted them. Again, I felt that Raney shows how complicated situations get when there are no answers. As human beings, we are programmed to want and feel we need answers.

This book has one main theme: what happened to Jill and how should Mitch live his life if he never finds out. Raney articulates the difficulties for Jill’s entire family, her husband and her college-age children, Evan and Katie. She also expresses the pain that Shelley, Jill’s best friend goes through. The Face of the Earth makes the reader think about thoughts that are unthinkable. It is a book that keeps the reader reading. There has to be an answer. Will the answer be at the end of the book? Or will the question never be answered? What did happen to Jill Brannon?

I received this book from the publisher in return for a review. All opinions expressed are my own.

About the Book

When Mitchell Brannon's beloved wife of twenty years kisses him goodbye one autumn morning, he has little idea that his life is about to change forever. Mitch returns from work early that evening, surprised Jill's car isn't in the garage. Her conference in Kansas City is only a few hours' drive from their little town of Sylvia, Missouri. 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."

Mitch sets the table with their best china and lights some candles, looking forward to their first weekend as empty nesters.

But at eight o'clock, the candles have burned to stubs and Jill still hasn't shown up. Mitch tries her cell phone only to get her voice mail over and over again. Their two college kids haven't heard from their mom either.
At midnight, Mitch's irritation turns to dread. And later, when the police and Missouri Highway Patrol have turned up nothing, the Kansas City hotel calls to say they've found property belonging to Jill in a hotel maid's possession.

Mitch enlists the help of their next-door neighbor, Jill's best friend, Shelley, and together they search for clues to Jill's disappearance. As days turn int
o weeks and weeks into months, Mitch and Shelley's friendship grows ever closer--and decidedly complicated with Jill as the tie that binds them together. Just when Shelley decides to finally reveal her feelings for Mitch, a clue to Jill's whereabouts is uncovered. But 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 off the face of the earth.

About the Author

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.

Deborah is celebrating with a fun "Date Night" Giveaway (win a $200 Visa Cash Card!) and an Author Chat Party on Facebook! {5/30}

One winner will receive:
  • A $200 Visa Cash Card (Use that to catch up with a loved one – your spouse, friend, sister, mom…whomever!)
  • The Face of the Earth by Deborah Raney
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on May 29th. Winner will be announced at the "The Face of the Earth" Facebook Author Chat Party on May 30th. Connect with Deborah for an evening of book chat, trivia, laughter, and more! Deborah will also be sharing a sneak peek of her next book and giving away books and fun gift certificates throughout the evening.

So grab your copy of The Face of the Earth and join Deborah on the evening of May 30th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP todayTell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 30th!

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