Shaffer (author of Bitter Silence) writes a lush and enchanting narrative of Charlie's growing spirituality, not through suspenseful plot twists and high-stakes thriller situations, but through the new connections she makes in her daily routines. “How am I supposed to fulfill any purpose without knowing what it is?" Charlie whispers, and the novel takes a deep dive into Charlie's grander human quandaries, like succumbing to the menacing voices or continuing to grapple with living righteously. Although she’s often passive, and the story’s sometimes repetitive, the narration teems with ethereal manifestations in Charlie's mundane life, creating opportunity for thoughtful discourse about both the roots of Charlie's noxious life perspective—familial afflictions, unmet parental needs—and, once she gains, gains faith, her new awareness of her human limitations.
Charlie at one point is so consumed by darkness that “she could not see one flicker of that radiant light or that living spark that she could see in herself as an 8-year-old child.” At times menacing and conflicted with suicide events and deaths, Charlie's story is ultimately powered by hope and lessons about forgiveness, as Shaffer offers an immersive and reflective exploration of one's restoration of faith during a battle with mental illness.Readers, especially Christians and those facing related challenges, will find this compelling story therapeutic, and may even kick off their journey to believing.
Takeaway: Immersive story of a woman's journey through darkness toward faith.
Comparable Titles: Harry Blamires's New Town, Gabrielle Zevin's Elsewhere.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A