Title: The Face of the Earth by Deborah Raney
Publisher: Howard Books
Genre: Contemporary, Christian, Fiction
Length: 358 pages
Book Rating: B
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
From the award-winning author of After All, a man finds his wedding vows tested after his wife disappears.
When Mitchell Brannon’s beloved wife of twenty years kisses him goodbye one morning, he has little idea that his life is about to change forever. Mitch returns from work early that evening, surprised Jill’s car isn’t in the garage. But her voice on the answering machine makes him smile. “Hey, babe, I’m just now checking out of the hotel, but I’ll stop and pick up something for dinner. Love you.” Hours later, Jill still hasn’t returned, and Mitch’s irritation turns to dread.
When the police come up empty, Mitch enlists the help of their next-door neighbor, Jill’s best friend, Shelley, to help search. As days turn into weeks and weeks into months, Mitch and Shelley’s friendship grows ever closer––and decidedly more complicated. Every lead seems to be a dead end, and Mitch wonders how he can honor the vows he made to a woman who has seemingly disappeared off the face of the earth.
Deborah Raney’s The Face of the Earth is an especially poignant read in light of the recent real life rescues of three women held captive for ten years.
In The Face of the Earth, Mitch Brannon is devastated when his wife, Jill, fails to return home from a conference. Could Jill have met with foul play? When search after search turns up little evidence, the question then becomes did Jill voluntarily disappear? Will Mitch ever uncover the truth about Jill’s disappearance?
Ms. Raney fully captures the despair and utter hopelessness that drives Mitch to investigate Jill’s disappearance on his own. He is compelled to continue searching long after the police have moved on. Mitch cannot comprehend life without Jill but what is most distressing for him is not knowing if she is dead or alive. At what point does he give up hope and begin to move on with his life?
The Face of the Earth is a complex and multi-faceted novel. The mystery of Jill’s disappearance is intriguing and the evidence leads the investigation in various directions. There are many emotional highs and lows as new discoveries raise then dash hopes that Jill is indeed alive. Deborah Raney ties up all of the loose ends with a realistic and satisfying conclusion. A superbly written, thought-provoking story that I highly recommend.