This book was provided to me by Bethany House Bloggers. I was not required to write a positive review, and have not been compensated for this. All opinions are my own.
Published by Baker Publishing Group on November 21st 2017
Source: Bethany House Bloggers
Genres: Christian, Fiction, Romance, Suspense
Kaine Prescott is no stranger to death. When her husband died two years ago, her pleas for further investigation into his suspicious death fell on deaf ears. In desperate need of a fresh start, Kaine purchases an old house sight unseen in her grandfather's Wisconsin hometown. But one look at the eerie, abandoned house immediately leaves her questioning her rash decision. And when the house's dark history comes back with a vengeance, Kaine is forced to face the terrifying realization she has nowhere left to hide.
A century earlier, the house on Foster Hill holds nothing but painful memories for Ivy Thorpe. When an unidentified woman is found dead on the property, Ivy is compelled to discover her identity. Ivy's search leads her into dangerous waters and, even as she works together with a man from her past, can she unravel the mystery before any other lives--including her own--are lost?
Note: Kristin reads and reviews both Christian and secular fiction on A Simply Enchanted Life. Out of respect for my readers, I am including a content review. This content review will help you decide whether this book is suitable for you.
Christian or Secular: Christian.
Sex: See trigger warnings
Violence: Non-graphic. See triggers and disclosure.
Trigger Warnings: This book is a suspense novel. A woman’s dead body is found inside of a tree. Her baby is missing—a baby conceived of rape (which is not detailed). This explores topics of sex trafficking, domestic violence, and stalking.
Disclosure: While this book deals with some heavy topics, I would consider this a clean read. It’s a good choice for Christians who want suspense without gore.
“This house was a reflection of what was in Kaine’s soul. This house was terrifying. This house was dead.”
― Jaime Jo Wright,
The House on Foster Hill is nothing short of amazing. Debut novels are always scary for me. I never know if I’m going to like the author and I have no idea what to expect. I wasn’t disappointed with this one. In fact, I loved it so much that I’m practically foaming at the mouth wanting to get my hands on The Reckoning at Gossamer Pond which is releasing on July 3rd, 2018.
Here’s why I loved this book:
Dual timeline: I love a dual timeline. There’s something about seeing how the present connects to the past that appeals to me. It makes me question what legacy I will leave and if anyone will remember me when I’m gone. I read my first dual timeline of 2017 with The Writing Desk by Rachel Hauck and I followed with Freedom’s Ring by Heidi Chiavaroli. I loved those two books so much that I worried it would be hard to follow them. But, The House on Foster Hill was a perfect fit for me. I couldn’t put this book down!
If you’re used to reading dark suspense, this book may feel as if it’s lacking. It’s a good clean read and while it has a creepy feel to it at times—it’s completely wholesome.
I appreciate that this book explores themes of human trafficking. I’m seeing more and more Christian authors address this. It is estimated that human trafficking costs nearly 20.9 million people their freedom around the world. I’m glad to see that authors are bringing this horrific practice to light by exploring themes of exploitation in their novels.
Characters to love: I loved these characters and I felt this strong pull to Ivy and her need to make sure that the dead were not forgotten. I wanted to somehow put myself into the pages and help find justice for Gabriella. I needed to know that her soul could rest and that she wouldn’t just be some nameless dead girl for all eternity.
The message of hope: Last, but not least for me was the message of eternal hope that we find in Christ. Here you have a young woman with no hope of freedom. Yet, her faith is strong and she’s held on to the hope of life eternal. I’m not ashamed to say that I cried for Gabriella and though she was fictional, her spiritual strength made me ashamed of my spiritual weakness.
Hope was the one thing she had missed in her healing. Hope not only healed, it lessened the scars. She had grown used to loss. She expected it. She expected failure from those around her. But Gabriella, in the brutality of her circumstances, had found hope in Someone greater. Her faith reached into Ivy’s soul.
She inhaled a deep breath of warm spring air filled with the freshness of rain. She wanted that hope. To cling to God as Gabriella had. To hold Him so close that this world became an interlude before life truly began.
I loved this book. It’s a fantastic début novel and I could ramble on for another 500 words or so about how this book made me feel. It’s really that good to me!