Overview: Miri Brayden teeters on a razor's edge between placating and enraging her brother, whom she depends upon for support. Yet if his anger is unleashed, so is his madness. Miri must keep his descent into lunacy a secret, or he'll be committed to an asylum—and she'll be sent to the poorhouse.
Ethan Goodwin has been on the run all of his life—from family, from the law ... from God. After a heart-changing encounter with the gritty Reverend John Newton, Ethan would like nothing more than to become a man of integrity—an impossible feat for an opium addict charged with murder.
When Ethan shows up on Miri's doorstep, her balancing act falls to pieces. Both Ethan and Miri are caught in a web of lies and deceit—fallacies that land Ethan in prison and Miri in the asylum with her brother. Only the truth will set them free.
My Review: I loved this book. As it states in the description, Miriall (Miri) Brayden walks a fine line between keeping the peace and her sanity. The author does a very good job of showing us the roiling emotions in Miri's life and you can't help but feel for her circumstances. You are afraid when she is; you are angry when she is; you are happy when she is. Ethan's character is charming in a roguish way. He is enough of a gentleman to hint at his past upbringing, but his appearance and mannerisms speak of a life on the streets. The only complaint I have about Ethan is his "change" was a bit rushed. I felt like I needed more of his background to understand that he could just believe so quickly after the life he had been living.
This book is what some might consider "preachy." However, I think that fits the setting. Ethan comes to know God from a Reverend. I would expect a Reverend to preach the gospel and speak a lot about it. Miri lives in a rectory with a Bishop and her brother, a former minister of God. I would also expect to hear a lot about God from their characters. I didn't think it was over-done as some novels tend to be, though, so I was ok with it.
Overall, Michelle does a great job of conveying her message: to trust in God, no matter what. Her characters are written in a way that the reader can relate to. The descriptions of the asylum and the people in it makes the reader both disgusted for the place they live in and sympathetic with their plight.
Here are a couple of quotes that really stuck out with me:
"Seems to me that if you knew the answer, if you could see and know the every movement of GOd, then I daresay you would have no need of faith. Perhaps the real question is...Do you trust him? Do you trust in God alone?"
"Sometimes faith is a moment-by-moment thing."
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