A complex novel of abuse, recovery, mental illness, inclusion, murder, mystery, activism, Faith! The craziness of those first years experienced when young adults leave their nest and venture into the outer world of college life, whether as newbie freshmen or advanced graduate students. Unlikely friendships as the strong nurture the weak with Kateri mentoring Donna in her mental illness, and Rose guiding Fish through abuse recovery. Fish’s loyalty to Rose, taken to the extreme, becomes unforgiving. But then self-denigration turns into enlightenment and hope.
Going beyond stereotypes, the dialogue paints a clear picture of the misperceptions held by non-Christians against Christians, countered with a realistic portrayal of the passionate young Christian student. The story draws us into the issue-filled, and often polarized, setting of college life. Woven therein are pieces of logic to help the reader refrain from being “sucked into” an erroneous view (a refreshing break from the hidden agendas found in common literature today).
By far more intense than the previous two books of the series, Waking Rose deals with mental illness, inter-relational tension, physical and sexual abuse and the resulting gender identity conflict, healing same-sex attraction and developing healthy authentic relationships. All of this is taken within the context of arson, stalking, kidnapping, assault, and attempted murder, with each character’s strengths overcoming their weaknesses. Stylistically, the entire book is presented in back-and-forth fashion between His and Her views, making it appealing to young men and women alike. Rather than a romance novel, it is a realistic portrayal of the breadth and depth of emotions commonly experienced amongst the college-aged today. See our full review and evaluation against character education criteria at http://ow.ly/5BUfK