Sunday, March 30, 2014

A Window to the World by Susan Meissner

book cover
A Window to the World
by Susan Meissner

ISBN-13: 9780736914147
Trade Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers
Released: January 1, 2005

Source: Bought through

Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
Megan and Jen meet in first grade and quickly become inseparable friends. Inseparable, that is, until one of them is snatched away by kidnappers as the other young girl watches helplessly. The remaining child grows up with the haunting memory of her friend's abduction...and absence from her life. Then, sixteen years later, a stunning truth about the kidnapping is revealed. And once again, lives are changed forever.

My Review:
A Window to the World is a Christian general fiction that covers a period of 16 years. Since the story covered so many years, the main focus and character development was with Megan. The other characters acted realistically, but the author didn't really wrap up what happened to them.

Because of this, I didn't feel satisfied by the ending. We know that Megan is no longer chained by her past, but it's clear that the kidnapping profoundly changed other people's lives and there is no real resolution for them. Instead, we're given possible future hardships they may face. Since a somewhat improbable event happens to give Megan resolution, the more realistic "the problems in life never really end" for the rest of the characters left me feeling like the story simply stopped rather than wrapped up.

On the other hand, the story was a well-written, realistic view of how traumatic events can affect a young child for the rest of her life and how healing can be slow. Some of her process of healing was told rather than shown. For example, Jen's family weren't Christians, so Jen asked Megan questions that, at 8-years-old, Megan wasn't able to answer. Her father gives her a very simplistic, child-level answer than doesn't satisfy her. As an adult, she goes to some Bible studies that answer her questions and help her heal, but we're told this rather than the author giving scenes showing this.

There were no sex scenes. There was a minor amount of swearing (i.e., using "God" irreverently). Overall, I'd recommend this novel to those who like novels that deal with hard, realistic issues.

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

Excerpt: Read an excerpt using Google Preview.

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