Grace in Deep Waters, by Christine Dillon (Links in the Chain Press, 2019)
Should Blanche go home? But how can she resume life with her legalistic husband now that her growing faith conflicts with his dogma? And while he denies their shared grief over their daughter’s death?
William didn’t even go to the funeral. And he denies the existence of their other daughter, Rachel, who left home many years ago at 15.
Grace in Deep Waters is book 3 in the ongoing Grace series (there are more books to come). New readers can start here and not feel lost, but I’d recommend starting at the beginning with Grace in Strange Disguise.
The women in this series develop a faith that’s nothing like the showy façade William has drilled into them. When life circumstances hit—and hit hard—Esther, Rachel, and Blanche each discover a truer Christianity and make the hard choices to live for God’s honour instead of living to satisfy or defy William’s rules.
William is proud, self-centred, and unyielding. Author Christine Dillon does a fine job of letting readers into his head to understand him and develop enough compassion to hope he’ll change.
Part of the novel is his story: will he change or harden himself further? Can he change, even if he wants to?
Another part is a beautiful observation of Blanche, a fallible woman growing in her faith and trying to find a healthy way to grieve.
Is this a depressing novel? Not at all. It’s heartwarming, inspiring, and it can challenge us to prayerfully make better choices in our own lives.
She’d let fear bind her. What might life be like if she walked free? [Kindle location 288]
The kid turned around and gazed at him with a piercing eye a high school principal would die for. [Kindle location 2159]
Anyone who thinks Christian fiction is light and fluffy or dry like a dusty sermon needs to read Christine Dillon’s Grace series. The faith message is strong and clear yet presented organically through the characters’ thoughts and decisions, leaving readers free to draw their own conclusions. The questions are real and deep.
In Grace in Strange Disguise, the challenge was “what happens when the prayer of faith doesn’t heal?” In Grace in the Shadows, it’s “how—and why—would God love me, after what I’ve done?” In Grace in Deep Waters, characters wrestle with grief, marital breakdown, and that contentious issue, submission.
As the characters wrestle, readers can wrestle, too. This isn’t a series that hands out easy answers. Discussion guides are available on the author’s website, for book clubs or individuals who want to dig deeper.
Christine Dillon is a missionary whose tag-line is “multiplying disciples one story at a time,” and the author of the Grace fiction series. She has also written non-fiction books about the Bible storytelling approach. For more about the author, visit storytellerchristine.com.
[Review copy provided by the author.]