Reviewed by Karri Compton
The Baker's Wife by Erin Healy
"All in all it was a good story written well—a worthwhile read."
A family scandal has changed Audrey Bofinger from a small town pastor's wife to a baker's wife. She and her husband Geoff, ousted from the ministry, now run a bakery and also lovingly bake bread for those in need. In addition to a compassionate heart, Audrey possesses a God-sent sixth sense which allows her to literally feel the pain of others. But the one time she rationalizes her prodding away is the one time she should never have ignored it.
To make matters worse, while driving in a thick fog, she inadvertently strikes the rider of a scooter, but the body is nowhere to be found. The husband of the scooter's owner, Jack Mansfield, is also the deacon responsible for Geoff's ultimate firing. A police officer, Jack will leave no stone unturned in order to incriminate Audrey in his wife Julie's murder. Though it's technically a missing person case, Jack believes the worst about everyone in the Bofinger family.
Will Julie be found alive? Is someone in the Bofinger household guilty? Or is Jack or his daughter Miralee to blame? What does the ex-convict Diane Hall have to do with the whole situation?
As the plot progresses, distinct contrasts are made between lives lived by love, grace, and forgiveness and lives lived by legalism and judgment. Some characters live with hope and promise, others with defeat and lack of purpose. Many themes were explored, including the importance of serving others, the consequences of sin, living with guilt, judgmentalism, among others. Perhaps the most important take-away for me was the intimation that we should always listen to and obey God's leading, even if it doesn't make sense to us.
I enjoyed this book, even though it wasn't as thrilling and fast paced as many suspense tales I read. One of my disappointments was that the back cover copy gave way too much about the plot away. I make sure my reviews don't contain spoilers (unless there is a disclaimer), and I expect back cover copy to afford me the same courtesy. Not so in this case.
I can live with the few other
minor irritations in the story. It ended satisfactorily with questions
answered but not everyone having a “happily
ever after.” All in all it was a good story written well—a
Karri Compton, wife and mother of three teens, two cats, and a beagle, devours Christian fiction whenever possible. Her favorite genre is suspense/thriller, especially Ted Dekker and Steven James novels. Since promoting biblical worldview fiction is dear to her heart, she reviews on her blog, Fiction Fanatics Only! and is a staff reviewer for such sites as The Christian Suspense Zone and Fiction Addict. Her stab at writing a novel confirmed what a tough job it is, and so the work is shelved for now, allowing the pros to do what they do best. When she isn't reading and reviewing, Karri stays busy at church and performing in various community theater companies.