Published by Thomas Nelson on January 6, 2009
Genres: Fiction, Christian, Suspense
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Let me tell you all I know for sure. My name. Shauna.
I woke up in a hospital bed missing six months of my memory. In the room was my loving boyfriend—how could I have forgotten him?—my uncle and my abusive stepmother. Everyone blames me for the tragic car accident that left me near death and my dear brother brain damaged. But what they say can't be true—can it?
I believe the medicine is doing strange things to my memory. I'm unsure who I can trust and who I should run from. And I'm starting to remember things I've never known. Things not about me. I think I'm going crazy.
And even worse, I think they want to kill me.
But who? And for what? Is dying for the truth really better than living with a lie?
Shauna McAllister just wants to forget. Her life to this point has been filled with pain. The death of her mother. The subsequent rejection of her by her father. Her physical and psychological abuse at the hands of her stepmother. She had lived a life of pain. And her father had caused it. All she want to do is just forget it.
In one fell swoop, she discovers what it is like to forget. Evidently she was in a wreck. Evidently she caused it. Evidently she was under the influence of drugs. Evidently, she seriously disabled her brother in the wreck. Evidently, she was being indicted for reckless driving and the semi she hit has already collected over a million in damages from her father. Evidently. Because she can’t remember. Anything. At least not from the past six months.
As she returns to try to put together the pieces of her life she discovers that her accident–whatever she did–has certainly not strengthened the frayed and strained ties that bind her to her family. Her father, Presidential nominee Landon McAllister, will not forgive her for all but killing his favorite child. Shauna’s only ally is the man who was evidently her boyfriend–maybe even more–Wayne Spade. The medicine they’re giving her is doing strange things. Maybe she’s crazy. She’s remembering things that may not be hers to remember. Everything she thought she knew is being turned upside down again. But only the truth can save her. Only the Truth can set her free.
In their first collaboration, Dekker and Healy create a novel that – while not as twist-filled or unpredictable as some of Dekker’s standalone works – pushes the reader to think about the problem of pain and discover whether or not ignorance really is bliss.
Dekker has often been criticized for his novels that revel in darkness before showing the light. Kiss is a story of why we must remember darkness and evil. It’s not to remember and glorify and uphold the pain. It’s to bring us perspective. Without the pain, we wouldn’t be who we are. We have to keep it in perspective, give it credit for the better person it can make us, scars and all.
When the Israelites left Egypt, they were not told to forget their bondage and only look forward to the Promised Land. Rather, God commanded them to remember they were slaves in Egypt. Remember the bondage. Remember the pain. Remember the suffering. But Israel chose to forget. And when they forgot about their bondage, they forgot about their deliverance. They began to no longer care for the One who had delivered them.
Only if we hold on to a strong remembrance of our bondage will we also maintain the sense of wonder and awe at our deliverance. We diminish the power of God when we diminish or forget our bondage. Dekker and Healy leave us asking hard questions: Do we forget the darkness we were in? Or do we remember it vividly in order to never forget the greatness of our deliverance?
Do we choose Pain…or Perspective?
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