Friday, January 14, 2011

No Safe Heaven

No Safe HavenMia is doing much better today. Her illness must have been a twenty-four bug. I didn't send her to school or dance class so she can recuperate, and she's taking a nap now (which is completely out of the realm of normal for her). I'm so glad that she's back to her normal bubbly self. It's hard to watch my baby girl hurt. I can't begin to imagine the pain Christina Green's family is facing. Just watching it on the news or reading about it, I want to reach out and pull my children close to me. My heart aches for all of those who lost someone in the Tucson shooting, but especially her parents. I pray for the parents of the shooter as well. In all of the rhetoric and blame that is surrounding this tragedy, I think the most important thing we can all do is pray. Pray for those who lost someone. Pray for the parents who are stunned by the violent act of their child. Pray for the shooter, whose mental illness caused him to kill. Pray for quiet, for those who would use this to elevate their own importance or to cast blame on their enemies would just be silent. Pray.

No Safe Haven by Kimberly & Kayla Woodhouse is a action-packed suspense novel with a lot of faith. Jenna Tikaani-Gray is finally starting to rebuild her life with daughter Andie. After the death of her husband Marc a year ago and Andie's brain surgery, the closely bonded mother and daughter are returning to their home in Alaska to make a fresh start. A mysterious stranger named Cole asks for a ride on their private plane, and when Jenna wakes up from a nap midflight, she sees Cole and pilot Hank fighting over a gun. When they incapacitate each other, she is forced to try to fly the plane herself, but it has been sabotaged, and they soon crash into the slopes of Mount Sultana. Soon Jenna and Andie are in the fight for their lives, and Cole seems to be the only one who can save them, but his mysterious past with Marc casts doubt on whether they can trust him, and Andie's severe medical problems add to the danger. The Woodhouses gained fame on an episode of Extreme Home Makeover, when daughter Kayla's illness created a need for a new home. Kayla and Andie share their illness: the inability to regulate their body temperature and to feel pain. Incorporating this illness into the story ratchets up the tension considerably. The narration in the story alternates between Jenna, Cole and bad-guy Leaper (in third person) and Andie (in first person). The change in narration flows smoothly, but Andie is the most enjoyable narrator as the authors do a remarkable job of portraying the mind of a twelve-year-old girl. The story itself is fairly standard, but the bond between Jenna and Andie, the character of Andie, and using Alaska as the setting all elevate this story to truly enjoyable and compelling.

Thank you to B&H Publishing for providing me with a copy of this book for review.