Saturday, November 22, 2008
Necessary Hearbreak by M.J. Sullivan
Does Time Heal All Wounds? Michael Stewart doesn’t think so. Thirteen years later, he’s still struggling with the demands of being a single father. His life revolves around his daughter Elizabeth – a precocious girl who’s growing up much too fast. Michael is all too aware of time – time lost, and time still slipping away. But fate, or perhaps something more divine, has other plans for Michael. When he and Lizzie stumble upon a root-cellar door in the floor of an old church, they discover that it‘s actually a tunnel leading back in time to first century Jerusalem during the tumultuous last week of Christ’s life. With the help of Leah, a newfound friend, they try desperately to escape, avoiding menacing soldiers at every turn, including one determined to make Elizabeth his own. Trapped in the past -- both literally and figuratively -- Michael comes face to face with some of his most limiting beliefs, and realizes he must open himself up to the possibility of a deeper faith in God, people, himself, and love before he can find his way home.
First off, great title! The storyline intrigued me the moment I read about it; books set during the time of Christ’s death are always very interesting to me. Although Elizabeth’s character was whiny and immature (I guess I’m just not used to thirteen year olds anymore) the characters of Leah and Michael made up for it. I loved the flashbacks into Michael’s past where you learned more about his life before losing his wife. I wish that Jesus could have been a more central character, or at least had a bit of dialogue-or done something momentous-like in Ben-Hur. I can see how Necessary Heartbreak could be seen as a middle-school read as well as an Adult read, but it doesn’t hit the Young Adult market very well in my opinion. I am hoping that the next two books deliver in the ways that this one did not.