Facing the Dawn

Revell. Mar. 2021. 320p. ISBN 9780800739690. $29.99; pap. ISBN 9780800737290. $15.99. CF
Mara Jacobs knows her name means “bitter,” and she certainly feels that way as her husband serves a nonprofit in Uganda, leaving her working double shifts and struggling with their wayward teenagers on her own. Mara also means “strong,” and she has no idea how much she’ll need that namesake as a series of calamities rock the already beleaguered Jacobs family. Struggling under the misconception that to ask for help is a sign of weakness, Mara is befriended by a cop–turned–homeless advocate and a childhood friend with regrets of her own. As the band of flawed humans come together, the cracks in Mara’s family and in her heart begin to heal.
VERDICT Ruchti (As Waters Gone By) has a gift for taking characters through their grief and lifting them to a place higher than themselves. Fans of Erin Bartels and Elizabeth Musser will appreciate the characters’ journey to faith that never ventures into the clichéd. The message of hope in a situation that seems hopeless is especially needed now.
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