Friday, May 16, 2008

Serials and Scenarios - Amy Wallace's Healing Promises

Amy Wallace visited the Dregs last spring. Read her entertaining interview here (scroll down). If you want a sneak peek at Healing Promises, click here to read the first chapter.

And without further review:

Amy Wallace once again tackles tough subject matter with skill and grace.

I'd heard mixed feedback before opening the cover of Healing Promises and I was concerned that I might not love it. One friend mentioned feeling a little like an emotional punching bag during her time with Clint and Sara.

I see where she was coming from -- the themes of cancer and child predators are grueling at best. Wallace fills her novel with clinical details and law enforcement procedure and the effects of the truth in those details applied to the lives of her characters. At times I needed to take a break from the emotion. Anyone dealing with close instances of child abuse or critical health issues might want to read the first chapter to get a feel for where Wallace takes the reader.

But the reader's emotional involvement in the lives of the characters and the angst over the drama shows Wallace's skill with storytelling. Her characters feel like real people and compassion comes into play. With several points of view the reader is able to get a sense of the major players as the story progresses -- a front row seat to the struggles and triumphs and the failings and sorrows.

Healing Promises continues the tale of Steven and Gracie so readers of Ransomed Dreams should feel at home, but Healing Promises can stand alone. Fans of Karen Kingsbury might want to check into Amy Wallace. I need to add a sensitivity warning. Some scenes are brutal. The novel is full of suffering and details that might make a reader squirm.