April 17, 2010

Scared by Tom Davis

A strange man came to me on the path,
Kind with a voice like music.
Like a friend, He told me this isn't my home.
I was not scared.

BOOK #: 18
CHALLENGES: 100+, ARC Challenge, Take Another Chance, Twenty Ten Challenge, Countdown Challenge, and New Authors Challenge
PUBLISHER: David C. Cook Distribution
GENRE: Fiction, Adventure, Literary Fiction, Christian Fiction
FORMAT/PAGES: Paperback/283
RATING: 4.5 Stars

Scared is a novel that absolutely captured my heart and focused my mind. It is a novel that captures a dozen emotions and makes you feel them all at once. It is a novel that tells a story that needs to be told and does it in a way that dares you to forget it.

Swaziland. Do you know where that country is? Africa. It is a small country. Completely surrounded by the country of South Africa. And completely overwhelmed by poverty and by an AIDS crisis.

Adanna is a young girl, an orphan who is fighting for survival of herself and her younger siblings in a community facing devastating odds. It is a heartbreaking scene of hunger, disease, death, and injustice. The sweet, innocent Adanna is the kind of person who I would want to know- brave, generous, thoughtful, determined. Can she beat the odds that are stacked against her?

Stuart Daniels is an award-winning photojournalist who has hit rock bottom. His last hope for redemption rests in Swaziland where he hopes to capture the story of the AIDS crisis in a fresh and revealing way. What he finds there is more than a renewal of his career. He finds a spiritual renewal. He can't find God in all of the death and tragedy- until he meets Adanna. Adanna, whose very nature is the very one that all Christians strive towards in life.

I had not read Christian fiction in a very long time. Probably ten years. That is why I chose CF for the Take Another Chance Challenge for the Genre Switch-Up category. The CF I had been exposed to was that of Beverly Lewis and Janette Oke and I didn't like it at all. It was too "in my face." But Davis' novel is about the understated tones and he gets the point across without shoving it down the reader's throat (not that this is the intention of any author, but just my reaction to the books I had previously read). I liked the way the message was conveyed and I personally thought it was much more effective.

Here are some of the passages from the book that stood out to me. Special thanks to Kristi of Books and Needlepoint and to Audra Jennings of B&B Media Group for this review copy.

"I want the world to know I'm a human being," Samson says, "Although I have a terrible disease, I still have feelings, I still have fears, and I'm still a child of God. It's a very strange thing when you're sick and you're entire community, people who have known you for years, treat you like a leper."

There is no justice here. Only fear. I am convinced this is the very root of wickedness. Precious leans into me, quiet as a mouse. Birds chirp in the distance. The baby sighs. And I am suffocated with my inability to help these children.

"The land of AIDS, huh? You say it like it's a medal of honor or something."
"No sense in hiding the truth, Stuart. The worst enemy is the one that's unexposed."

Before I can calculate how many children I could feed simply by cutting back to one Starbucks a week, a loud honk startles me and a brand-new Mercedes van speeds by on the rocky dirt road. "Food Vison" is written on the side.
"Food Vision. So where's the food?"

"That's what I want to know."


  1. Sounds like a fascinating book and definitely a must read whether one read CF or not. I am definitely putting it on my wish list.

  2. I'm not big on CF, but this one sounds worth reading.

  3. Africa is a very pitiable region. The very face of poverty and a terrible disease. Thank you very much for sharing!

  4. It is so difficult to read about Africa; that continent has so many struggles. This sounds like an intriguing read though.

  5. Sounds heart-breaking. I probably won't read it b/c I deal with AIDS everyday at work and am very aware of what goes on in Africa as well as here and other countries. And it is terrible that people suffer because of political issues about this disease.
    I don't read CF but this sounds like a good one, I just can't read it. It would be too much

  6. Lilly- It really is a good book- culturally and for social justice as well. I don't read CF (which is why it was my new genre pick for the TAC challenge) but this one is unlike the CF I have tried before. Very understated in the Christian theme I thought.

    Beth- It is not like CF I have read before. The theme was not "in your face" which made it the best CF I've read.

    cutlex- There are definitely some parts of Africa that are just heartbreaking. Unfortunately you find in the book that right next to all of this suffering are people in mansions eating salmon and having dinner engagements. The distribution of wealth is non-existent.

    Trisha & Kathy- It is a heart-tugging read, no doubt, but it is also a very eye-opening read and one that does have some positives come out of the story overall as well.

    Deb- I wouldn't recommend it for you since AIDS is one of the main themes in the book. It is heartbreaking to me and I don't know anyone on a personal level who has AIDS.

  7. I'm glad this worked for you! Like with any genre, I think it will depend on the individual authors for how much you like a book or not.

    That cover is kind of freaky looking.

  8. This one does sound like one that I would enjoy. I don't like preachy books either but I am a huge fan of Lewis (addicted to Amish fiction...can't tell you why...I just am!) and I did like Oke, but I knew what I was getting into with her books too. I will certainly be on the lookout for this one when I go to the library!!!

  9. This book sounds really good! I have to admit I'm intrigued, even though I never read Christian Fiction.

  10. Great review. You may have sold me on this one. My mom & I were talking just this weekend about how much we dislike the "in your face" agenda most CF has. As a Christian, I want to support it, but I also want it to be good.


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