Escaping Pretense by Deborah Jean Miller

The Road To Redemption

Escaping Pretense by Deborah Jean Miller is a powerful contemporary novel about love and life and family. I absolutely adored it.

Everyone deserves to be loved – but within the book we meet a character who doesn’t think this applies to her. Every time someone gets close to her, she pulls away, believing her past disqualifies her from being loved. She doesn’t think she deserves love and this is heartbreaking. Deep down she is a good person, and this goodness is spotted by the young and the vulnerable in society who gravitate towards her kind heart.

We meet a loving family. They do life together and also reach out to those on the margins of society. “She wondered what a life like that would have felt like. To feel the closeness of a loving family, secure in each other’s company.” The reader’s heart breaks for a woman who has never known love, only pain.

There are the difficult topics of child abuse and rape. Choices were taken away from the victim but it is she who must live with the consequences. “I think you are a good person but you’ve been broken.” A character needs to change her way of seeing herself – she is worthy of love and kindness.

Knowing God and being part of His family brings forgiveness and healing. When we forgive ourselves, our pain begins to mend. “God’s grace is not something you achieve – it’s something you receive.” God’s grace is a gift freely given.

The novel shows a journey of redemption. It is beautiful to watch it unfold. A character moves from ‘I deserve…’ to ‘what can I give?’ Only through the love of God and others can this be achieved.

The characters are well drawn and likable. The tone is light-hearted in spite of some very serious themes. It is also amusing at times due to the clumsiness of a character and a rather crazy cat.

I thoroughly enjoyed Escaping Pretense with its powerful themes and a love that shines throughout.

I received a free copy from the author. A favourable review was not required. All opinions are my own.

JULIA WILSON

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