J.Z. Howard's Reviews > The Face of the Earth

The Face of the Earth by Deborah Raney
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really liked it

A well-written and touching relationship story about two neighbors, a man whose wife has gone missing mysteriously and her best friend, a divorcee, who lives next door. They join forces to search diligently for the missing woman and, day after day, are drawn to each other's best qualities. Both struggle with the mounting love each feels for the other as the shadow of the missing wife raises questions of fidelity and remains unsolved.

The beginning scenes involved page-after-page descriptions about a main character who remained missing, so I appreciated the story’s eventual shift in focus to the husband and best friend, Mitch and Shelley. The investigation into Mitch’s possible role in his wife’s enigmatic absence held my attention, as did his efforts to clear himself of suspicion and his own vigilante actions toward a former suitor whom he suspected of foul play.

The build-up of romantic tensions between Mitch and Shelley also were believable (human passion tempered by godly restraint), although after a while a bit unrealistic. Their unerring purity—except for one momentary kiss during a hurry-up embrace in the entire narrative—likely pleased the readers who wanted an ideal template of saintly conduct. On that score Ms. Raney delivered generously. Overall, I enjoyed the author’s fluid writing style and felt my investment was well worth it.
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
May 6, 2014 – Shelved

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