Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Red Ink

Saturday night was the last high school Christmas concert I'll have a child in for the next seven years. I've had a least one kid in them for the last six years. I think I'll still attend them, because I love hearing the traditional songs each year (even though the program doesn't change much from year to year), and my leaps with joy at hearing the Hallelujah Chorus so shortly before the holiday. This year the choir actually performed several selections from Handel's Messiah, and it was the first time I've ever heard most of them. It was beautiful, and I think I want to own the entire piece on CD so I can listen to it again and again. Molly sang There's No Place Like Home for the Holidays, and did a wonderful job on it, especially since her microphone wouldn't work, so this is just her singing her heart out. The lighting is bad, and I apologize, the way the lights were shining on the stage, I couldn't fix it without getting out of my seat. And the camera gets a bit shaky toward the end as well. I apologize for that as well; I guess I'm just getting old.

Red Ink by Kathi Macias is the third book in her powerful Extreme Devotion series about Christians under fire for their faith around the world. Yang Zheng-Li is serving ten years in a Chinese prison camp for distributing Christian materials to children and for refusing to deny her faith in Jesus Christ. Her parents are ashamed of their daughter's refusal to comply with the State, and even kidnapped her and aborted her second child in hopes of gaining her compliance. Even her husband, Zhou Chi, who was raised as a Christian is having a difficult time understanding why Zheng-Li couldn't have just kept her faith a little more under wraps like he does, especially now that he's raising their son, Zhou Chan, alone with his widowed sister. When Zheng-Li catches the eye of the most brutal prison guard, Tai Tong, she begins living every moment in fear of what this man known for his violence will do to her. Back in a California rest home, Julia, misses her freedom and her days of serving as a missionary in China with her husband when she suddenly feels the strong urge to pray for a unknown woman in China. When a new resident, Margaret, moves into the rest home with a terrible attitude, Julie adds both Margaret, and her fifteen-year-old troubled granddaughter into her prayers as well. I've enjoyed the previous entries in this series, but I think this must be the most powerful and best book yet. I didn't want to believe that Zheng-Li's story was happening in the world today. The abuse and degradation she and other Christians are facing in China right now is unimaginable, but Macias does a great job of putting readers into this  frightening world where even in the midst of incredible darkness, God continues to show His face to the ones He loves. While the parallel stories never truly come together, there is much drama and suspense in each, as well as an unexpected attack on Christianity in the rest home. Macias truly caught me off guard with her ending. It was both surprising and heart-breaking. This compelling novel gives a grim picture of  what Christians face in China, but Macias also portrays a God who never leaves His followers alone, no matter how devastating it is.

Thank you to Pump Up Your Book for providing me with a copy of this book for review.


Kathi Macias said...

Thank you so much for the great review of Red Ink. Many blessings to you and your readers/followers!

Tamela Hancock Murray said...

This is a "must-read" in my opinion. Thanks for the review!

Anonymous said...

That sounds like an incredible book! Thanks for your review on it!