Published by Revell on September 3, 2019
Genres: Fiction, Christian, Speculative, Suspense
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Ten years ago, Grace saw something that would forever change the course of history. When evil in its purest form is unleashed on the world, she and others from their religious community are already hidden deep in the hills of Tennessee, abiding by every rule that will keep them safe, pure--and alive. As long as they stay there, behind the red perimeter.
Her older brother's questions and the arrival of the first outsiders she's seen in a decade set in motion events that will question everything Grace has built her life on. Enemies rise on all sides--but who is the real enemy? And what will it cost her to uncover the truth?
For the first time, bestselling authors Ted Dekker and Rachelle Dekker team up and deliver an intense, tightly focused ride through the most treacherous world of all.
The outside world swirls with an apocalypse. Thirteen years ago, the angel Sylous visited the community that would become New Haven and warned them. They had seen the Fury in all their blackness and darkness and rage. None could survive. So they hid.
Under the protection of Sylous, they formed New Haven. A small community in a valley cut off from the outside world. Here, they were committed to purity. Here, they were committed to holiness. Rules brought safety and salvation. Boundaries kept out the Fury. The red rope that ran through the trees officially designated where the protection ended.
Now that boundary is being tested. No one has seen Sylous or a Fury since that fateful day thirteen years ago. Maybe the apocalypse is over? Maybe it never was? These questions sit in the back of Grace’s head. She was a child when her mother fled with them into the commune. Now she is an adult. Married. Expected to bear children. But into what kind of world?
The safe community is shaken when it’s discovered that one of their own—Grace’s brother, Jamie—has been exploring outside the red rope. It’s soon followed by the arrival of two Outsiders—Grace’s long-lost father and a young boy he says is their brother. This community, now shaken by fear, must figure out how to deal with insurrection and intrusion. And amid it all, they receive irrefutable confirmation that the Fury are all too real.
Combining Rachelle Dekker’s storytelling and prose with her father’s passion for symbolism and meaning (and great villains), the Dekker Duo’s first collaboration is a thought-provoking journey into the soul. Should we choose safety over freedom? The known for the unknown? Is the boundary of the red rope there to keep us safe or does it keep us from experiencing life beyond our fears?
The Girl Behind the Red Rope is thoughtful, poignant, challenging, and just overall fun. Throughout the novel, you’re left wondering if the typical tropes of the genre will come to pass or if the Dekkers will bypass them altogether. It’s well-written enough that you just don’t know. I kept waited for the expected and—well, sometimes I was right and sometimes I was wrong.
There was one scene in particular that was just jaw-droppingly profound. I went back and read it again, more slowly, soaking in the twist. It wasn’t necessarily a twist. It had been obvious from almost the beginning. I had learned it as Grace had learned it. We knew. We both knew, her and I. But seeing it actually happen was both chilling and exhilarating.
There’s a lot I want to say, but I’ll leave it unsaid. To even begin to dive into the thematic elements of the book is to spoil it, so I won’t do that here—but I could probably talk for hours about it if you’ll let me. Seriously, this book needs to be released so that I can talk to other people about it. It’s profound fiction. It’s powerful. It’s dangerous. It’ll challenge you and change you if you’ll let it.
I didn’t know what to expect from a Dekker family team-up. Now I don’t know if I want them to do anything else. The brightest parts and deepest perspectives of both authors shine through in this collaboration. This had better be only the first of many to come.
In The Girl Behind the Red Rope, Ted Dekker & Rachelle Dekker have written a hauntingly beautiful story of what happens when we refuse to live in fear and darkness any longer. It’s probably the best Dekker book of this decade.
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