This book won the BREW Readers’ Choice Award – Christian Historical Fiction of 2021/2022.
The rape and attempted murder of Colleen Woodard jolt the community of Zacchary. A sweet and gentle girl loved by everyone, Colleen had already suffered from more than her share of misfortunes when her estranged husband took her son away. Now in the throes of severe trauma, her brain blocks the horrific images of the fateful night, making her unable to identify her attacker. Sheriff Boyd Custer enlists LeeRoy, a veteran from the Vietnam war, to investigate the crime using his outstanding tracking skills. Can the duo identify the culprit? How will Colleen survive this immense trauma? Find out in Favored, a novel by Priscilla B. Shuler.
Although Favored started with a hideous crime, it was not a typical police procedural or a thriller. The omniscient viewpoint made the readers privy to all the innovative measures Sheriff Custer took, while the characters remained ignorant of these secrets. While a few instances of misplaced suspicion added to the perplexity of the plot, Shuler chose to disclose the perpetrator’s identity halfway through the book. Instead of dwelling on the crime, Favored concentrated more on the path the sinner and the victim would choose to follow.
I loved the cast of characters who made up the small community at Zacchary. Their deep bonding and care for each other made them into a big, extended family. Their silly, good-natured banter uplifted my mood. They looked out for the others, ready to do everything in their powers to help them. No one spared a second thought when someone needed their assistance. Everyone insisted on repaying each generous act in small but profound ways. Shuler gave even the minor characters a unique backstory that made them come to life. For example, I loved exploring the pasts of two intriguing characters, LeeRoy and Sheriff Custer.
Similar to Shuler’s other works, Favored dwelt heavily on the themes of repentance and redemption. The storyline was the epitome of the phrase “Hate the sin, love the sinner.” Through Colleen’s character, Shuler tried to demonstrate how love and forgiveness could deliver a person from the clutches of evil. Unfortunately, in upholding this sentiment, Colleen made some questionable decisions. For a person so traumatized by the violation that her brain would block her painful memories, her actions and words seemed unrealistically nonchalant once she remembered her attacker. Even more surprisingly, she showed no reservations or discomfort in meeting this person. Her emotions took a sudden and unexpected leap, leading to an ending that the book portrayed as happy, but I found disturbing. Even the secondary characters seemed bent on this so-called ‘happy’ ending, choosing to withhold some brutal truths. Although Shuler exemplified Colleen’s strength through her ability to forgive the sinner, I could not agree with this view. I also found the book lacking in the editing department.
Despite the shortcomings, I would recommend this story to the readers who believe in Christian values and have faith that love can redeem any wrongdoing. However, there are accounts of severe alcohol abuse. The instance of rape and attempted murder might also work as a trigger, so the readers should exercise caution.
- Title: Favored
- Author: Priscilla B Shuler
- Genre: Christian Historical Fiction
- Publication Date: 12 August 2018
- ISBN or ASIN: B07GDD9B7R
Themes (Note: 0=none, 1=a few, 2=considerable, 3=pronounced, 4=excessive)
- Sexual: TBDL
- Religious: TBDL
- Violence, self-harm, etc.: TBDL
- Crude language, expletives, swearing, etc.: TBDL
- Other adult tones: TBDL
- Content: 5 stars
- Writing Style: 5 stars
- Appeal to Target Audience: 5 stars
- Uniqueness: 5 stars
- Editing: 3 stars
- Other factors: 5 stars
- Overall: 5 out of 5 stars
Note: The views expressed in book reviews are the review authors’ own and do not necessarily reflect the entire site’s.
Know more about Priscilla B Shuler via https://thechrysalisbrewproject.com/2021/11/16/meet-our-author-priscilla-b-shuler/.
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