Francine Rivers consistently exceeds my expectations… and, okay, I have pretty low expectations for her since I’m a snob and tend to believe Christian writers sacrifice God’s glory to the altar of preachy, thumping, contrived, sterile story lines that only help out the choir and turn the rest of us to Suzanne Collins for an engaging read.
That being said, I REALLY enjoyed A VOICE IN THE WIND. Throughout the book, I struggled to trust Rivers, wondering if REDEEMING LOVE wasn’t her single piece worth reading, but the ending of this book blew me away. There were a few moments prior to the ending that nudged me on, including a slave’s sacrificial act to rescue a horrible, self-involved, spoiled, depraved Roman girl, and it was completely worth it. I felt emotionally engaged with the characters and loved the historical aspects of the novel. It also didn’t hurt that I’ve been to Rome and seen the Coliseum for myself, and hold a deep affection for that era of world history.
My only criticism of the book is its pacing. It’s pretty slow. I suspect this is because Rivers subtly reveals each character through his or her interactions and experiences, which takes time. Also, the omniscient POV was a bit rough at first, but I came to love it towards the end, and I believe it sets a sturdy foundation for the next two books.
*I originally posted this review on Goodreads.