Reviewed by Karri Compton
Listen by Rene Gutteridge
"...a worthwhile read with much to chew on after the last word has been read."
The tongue is untamable. It can be used for praising or cursing, encouragement or negativity, silence or boasting. And words have great power, more than most people bargain for. And someone is listening to them. This, among other lessons, is what the tiny town of Marlo learns in Listen.
Damien Underwood loves words. As op-ed writer for the local paper, he has ample opportunities to inform and uplift the general public with them. But when he and his police friend Frank discover a web site that is dedicated to revealing the town's most intimate conversations, words become the enemy.
Soon friends and neighbors aren't speaking, school-age children turn violent, and the whole town is in an uproar. Damien helps the police find out who is behind the website while trying to save his own family from falling apart. Obstacle after obstacle comes against him, but will he find the culprit before anyone else gets hurt? Will Marlo ever be the same?
We have all probably observed the destruction that goes along with hurtful words. Gutteridge writes from personal experience, and therefore has a unique perspective as author of this story. She pegs small town life as well as the struggle to avoid gossip, rumor, and foot-in-mouth syndrome. Her heroes shine and bring redemption to the mess that is Marlo, creating a worthwhile read with much to chew on after the last word has been read.
I have enjoyed all the books I've read by Gutteridge, especially the Occupational
Hazards series and her stand alone, My Life as a Doormat. I can see her
books easily becoming movies, which stands to reason since she is an accomplished
screenplay writer as well. I highly recommend Listen as an enjoyable story
with challenging practical applications for those who dare.
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.