04/10/2007

Say to this Mountain (by Bodie Thoene)

This is the third in the Shiloh Legacy trilogy by Bodie Thoene.

'Say to this Mountain' draws together threads from the first two books, 'In my Father's House', and 'A Thousand shall Fall'. Max and his son David are on the run from hitmen after the Wall Street crash in the USA in 1929, and decide to visit Max's cousin Trudy and her husband Birch in Shiloh, Arkansas.

Shiloh, meanwhile, is just recovering from a tornado, which ripped up some of the train tracks, and destroyed the home of JD, Birch's unlikeable cousin.

Then there's Ellis, barely mentioned in the second book, who is a doctor. He is struggling with serious debt after some bad investments, and doing extra private work just to make ends meet. He gets asked to do something unethical and has to struggle with his conscience.

Ellis lives in the same town as Willa-Mae and Hock, who also struggle to make ends meet. Yet even they are better off than Frank and John, two boys in the same apartment block, whose mother sells herself to make a few dollars each night.

Willa-Mae hasn't seen her son Jefferson for ten years, and has no idea if he's alive. But in fact he's working for Birch and Trudy, and trying desperately to find out if his parents are still living.

The novel revolves around all these scenarios and others, gradually interweaving people's lives. There's a low-key Christian theme running throughout - of hope, even when life seems to be falling apart, and of trusting God even when terrible crises or tragedies happen.

The story, like the others in the series, was eye-opening from an American history point of view. It's probably best to read it after at least one of the others in the series, as the sheer number of characters and sub-plots would otherwise be over-whelmingly confusing.

Very well-written with believable people and situations, and a satisfying ending to the series. Difficult to put down, once I had started!

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