Sunday, September 18, 2011
Stealing Jenny by Ellen Gable
Reviewed on September 18, 2011
Stealing Jenny by Ellen Gable is a terrifyingly realistic suspense story that could be ripped from the headlines, but it’s also a beautiful life-affirming novel that offers so much more.
Jenny Callahan, a devout Catholic mom overjoyed by the imminent birth of her sixth child after three heartbreaking miscarriages, stands on the bus stop with her young son, waiting for her daughters’ return from school. When she’s approached by a woman offering to share some maternity and baby clothes, she accepts, with no idea of the terrible ordeal she and her family are about to face.
Flawlessly transitioning between Jenny enduring her captivity at the hands of the disturbed woman who means to steal her unborn child and her distraught family trying to hold to their hope she will be rescued, author Ellen Gable offers another amazing portrait of the power and gift of faith in the most horrific of circumstances.
As is the case in all of her novels, in Stealing Jenny the author again excels at smoothly weaving the Catholic understanding of marriage and family – the sanctity of life and the precious gift of children and the sexual relationship – into a moving story of real people facing real world challenges and traumas. The characters of Jenny, her husband, Tom, and their children, as well as those of the unbalanced kidnapper, Denise, and the police officers who search for Jenny, are developed wonderfully. Through the family’s present suffering and glimpses of both the joys and sorrows Jenny and Tom have experienced throughout their relationship, the reader descends into this nightmare with them, but is also lifted up by the Callahan family’s faith and hope in God and by the strength He imparts in the very love which unites them.
Another powerful novel from a favorite author that I highly recommend to all suspense readers, especially those who appreciate not only exceptional storytelling, but the depth and meaning in a novel whose creativity is so perfectly intertwined with its spirituality.