Tuesday, May 21, 2013

"the face of the earth" by deborah raney

About the book (from Litfuse): When Mitchell Brannon's beloved wife of twenty years kisses him goodbye as she leaves for an educators' conference, he has little idea that his life is about to change forever. Mitch returns from work early the evening her conference ends, surprised Jill's car isn't in the garage. Her conference in Kansas City is only a few hours' drive from their little town of Sylvia, Missouri. But her voice on the answering machine makes him smile. "Hey, babe, I'm just now checking out of the hotel, but I'll stop and pick up something for dinner. Love you."

Mitch sets the table with their best china and lights some candles, looking forward to their first weekend as empty nesters.

But at eight o'clock, the candles have burned to stubs and Jill still hasn't shown up. Mitch tries her cell phone only to get her voice mail over and over again. Their two college kids haven't heard from their mom either.
At midnight, Mitch's irritation turns to dread. And later, when the police and Missouri Highway Patrol have turned up nothing, the Kansas City hotel calls to say they've found property belonging to Jill in a hotel maid's possession.

Mitch enlists the help of their next-door neighbor, Jill's best friend, Shelley, and together they search for clues to Jill's disappearance. As days turn into weeks and weeks into months, Mitch and Shelley's friendship grows ever closer—and decidedly complicated with Jill as the tie that binds them together. Just when Shelley decides to finally reveal her feelings for Mitch, a clue to Jill's whereabouts is uncovered. But every lead seems to be a dead end, and Mitch wonders how he can honor the vows he made to a woman who has seemingly disappeared off the face of the earth.

My take: The Face of the Earth asks the question, "What does 'Til Death Do Us Part' really mean?" How long do you wait for a spouse, when there's no indication he or she is still alive ... but there's also no evidence of death?

Author Deborah Raney certainly isn't afraid to address the tough marriage questions—from dealing with dementia in A Vow to Cherish to the search for a missing spouse in The Face of the Earth, she highlights the difficulty of the situation while showing the importance of fidelity.

The Face of the Earth is a completely compelling novel. From the moment I started reading until I turned the final page, I couldn't read the book fast enough. I ached for Mitch and Shelley (especially Shelley) as they dealt with the disappearance of and search for Jill ... and as they fought against the feelings they developed for each other. I also appreciated that I had no idea how the novel would turn out. Would Jill be found alive? dead? or never found at all? I won't spoil the end for you, but I will say that I thought it was realistic and perfect.

The Face of the Earth is enjoyable, and it will also make you think. I highly recommend it! 5 stars.

See what other bloggers are saying.
Buy the book.
Read my reviews of Raney's Forever After and After All.

About the author: Deborah Raney is the award-winning author of several novels, including A Nest of Sparrows and the RITA award winning Beneath a Southern Sky and its sequel, After the Rains. Deborah's first novel, A Vow to Cherish, was the inspiration for World Wide Pictures' highly acclaimed film of the same title, which in December 2004 aired on primetime network TV for the second time. Deb's novella, Playing by Heart, was a National Readers Choice Award winner and a 2004 Christy Award finalist. Her novel for Howard/Simon & Schuster, Yesterday's Embers, appeared on the ECPA Christian fiction bestseller list. Known for her sensitive portrayal of family struggles and relationships, Deb has also written nonfiction books and articles and often speaks at women's retreats and writers' conferences around the country. She and her husband, illustrator/author Ken Raney, have four children and make their home in Kansas. Find out more at DeborahRaney.com.

About the giveaway:
Deborah is celebrating with a fun "Date Night" Giveaway (win a $200 Visa Cash Card!) and an Author Chat Party on Facebook! {5/30}
   One winner will receive:
  • A $200 Visa Cash Card (Use that to catch up with a loved one – your spouse, friend, sister, mom…whomever!)
  • The Face of the Earth by Deborah Raney
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on May 29th. Winner will be announced at the "The Face of the Earth" Facebook Author Chat Party on May 30th. Connect with Deborah for an evening of book chat, trivia, laughter, and more! Deborah will also be sharing a sneak peek of her next book and giving away books and fun gift certificates throughout the evening.

So grab your copy of The Face of the Earth and join Deborah on the evening of May 30th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP todayTell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 30th!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity Group. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Also, some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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