Many times while reading THE WEIGHT OF SHADOWS BY ALISON STROBEL I would stop myself from using the wrong title. The words The Weight of Silence would come to my mind. I felt very silly. Then I thought about the plot of Alison Strobel's novel. The characters in the story carry the heavy weight of SHADOWS and silence. This novel is all the better because it is Christian fiction. After a very quick romance, these two people decide to live together. They become engaged choosing their date of marriage as the next July. Rick quickly tells about his past to Kim. Kim shares her past with Rick. Both have lived through terrible childhoods. Neither Kim nor Rick have made peace with their demons. Kim knows a little about Jesus. Rick not as much as Kim. So it is a relationship void of the Savior, Jesus Christ, to guide and aid them with His comfort and eternal love. Soon the relationship changes between Kim and Rick. The changes are far from good, unpredictable and unexpected.
I can not end the review without mentioning Joshua and Debbie. Both of these characters are a portrait of the most helpful people I've known in my life. Joshua and Debbie go out of their way to help Kim get out a dangerous situation. Although Alison Strobel never mentions it during the story, I think she might have hoped that Joshua and Debbie's names would act as reminders of the Biblical hero and heroine in the Bible.
Then, there are the grandparents, Alisha and her husband. Rick is a widower. He has a lovely daughter, Maddie, who loves him very much. However, the grandparents look at life in a very negative way which brings up the rights of grandparents. When there is a wonderful parent raising a child, how far can grandparents go to disrupt the lives of the parent and child because of their preconceived opinions? Sadly, in this instance the grandparents are blind to Maddie's happiness. They do not see her love that her love is large and able to include daddy, grandpa and grandma in her heart. She can even hold her mommy in her heart. Although, she is gone from her for now and ages to come.
There is one point in the book where I felt Debbie acted selfishly and took advantage of Joshua's kindness. This really bothered me. I wondered would other readers feel the same way. I really loved the way the author allowed characters to meet one another when it looked like they could only have lived their lives worlds apart never meeting one another. So the novel is definitely not preachy although in every incident I could see God's Hand working in every circumstance. I am grateful for Alison Strobel writing a book about this horrible social issue that is too often slipped quietly underneath the rug. She writes quietly, but her words are a shout in my mind for women who are, this very day, suffering in silence. ALISON STROBEL