Unspoken by Dee Henderson
Maybe I ought to preface this review with the confession that I may be a tad biased. You see, Dee Henderson is my all-time favorite author. I have never read a book by her that I didn’t LOVE. And since this is my first blog post for one of her books, I can’t help but tell you why I LOVE her so much!
** I love the way she writes.
**I love the way she develops her characters.
**I love the way her characters instantly matter to you – they become “real” to you and you care for them and their family as much as you care for your own.
**I love the unique way that her characters continue to re-appear in other books, often more than just in passing.
**I love that she doesn’t shy away from difficult topics and circumstances.
**I love the reality of her stories.
**I love the “real” problems that people face and the “real” way she brings it around to conclusion.
**I love most of all her love of God and the way she brings a relationship with Him to life in each book.
**I love the way she tackles difficult and real reasons that people choose not to, or can’t bring themselves to believe in God, and yet she takes the time to share with and bring each around to an understanding of who God is and who He wants to be in their lives.
Dee Henderson captures my heart in every book. I have never read a book by Dee that didn’t have an impact on my life and leave me wanting to read more, know the characters better and draw closer to Jesus. I know I could go on and on and on, but this is supposed to be a review about a specific book. Guess I’ll get to it.
Due to some changes in publishing matters, Dee Henderson took a break from writing. Much to her faithful fans delight, Full Disclosure which released October, 2012, was the break of her six years of quiet. Full Disclosure and Unspoken are not “officially” considered a series, but may I strongly suggest that you read Full Disclosure prior to opening Unspoken? If you’ve read my other reviews, you will remember that I am a stickler for reading books in order. You get to know people in Full Disclosure who are also prominent characters in Unspoken. Although you can read Unspoken as a standalone, knowing the stories of these characters will create a much richer reading experience.
I joined and have enjoyed being a part of a couple of Facebook reading groups. A comment that I read on one of these group boards about Unspoken shortly after it released indicated that this book was slower than other Dee Henderson books. Reading that comment, prior to reading the book myself, gave me pause. I took it as possibly negative. Having now read the book, I must say that I agree. It was a little slower – although when I think about it, I feel the same way about Full Disclosure. I have discovered however that the pace is one of my favorite parts of these two books. I feel that the slower pace, without changing the suspenseful story line, allows for deeper connections with the characters. It also lends to a deeper spiritual emphasis – deeper in that it tackles some real tough reasons to disbelieve or be questioning one’s faith. Dee doesn’t gloss over someone’s real struggles in believing in or trusting God. God has blessed her with the ability to meet even the toughest reasons of disbelief, ones that when explained, even a strong believer can’t find a good way to refute, with humble love and grace. This leads to a real understanding of who God is. I grew up in church and accepted Christ as my personal Savior at a young age, so I have no personal concept of how one could not believe that. Dee Henderson has been one of the biggest influences in helping me see from other’s perspectives, in helping me understand why it’s not as easy for everyone. She demonstrates how to love others to Jesus. It’s an amazing gift that she has and I can’t describe it adequately.
Another favorite aspect of Dee’s books, which Unspoken illustrates very well, is the way her characters re-appear. I absolutely love the unique way that she has of interlacing her characters. Characters from her first books appear in Full Disclosure! I loved hearing from some of them after so many years! It’s just as exciting to see that characters from Full Disclosure have prominent roles in Unspoken. I love that Dee’s characters aren’t locked up in their own books, but they travel from book to book and we get to see their relationships grow as well. We get to know them and we get to revisit them. It’s very unique. I don’t know of another author that does this as well as Dee does. (I love that she’s been mentoring Dani Pettrey in how to do this though!!)
I adored the gentle romance of this book. I feel that the patience and constancy of Bryce’s character exemplifies Christ’s romancing of us – He is endlessly patient with us and is constantly there waiting for us to turn to Him.
I have other favorite things to share, but since I don’t want any spoilers in this review, I’m going to end. I will however end with the wonderfully exciting news that we don’t have to wait another whole year for the next one…only half a year. Undetected will hit the shelves in May, 2014. And from the little that I was able to gather so far on her website, it appears that one of the characters for Undetected is related to one of the characters in Unspoken!! LOVE it!!! I’m so excited.
May 2014 is going to be an amazing month…a new Dee Henderson book AND a new Dani Pettrey book!!