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Never Let You Go

1 rating: 5.0
A book by Erin Healy

Lexi is doing her best to raise her daughter, Molly, by herself. With her husband in jail on drug-related charges and her father in a mental institution, she has no one to help with the finances. Although she works nights in a greasy spoon and days at … see full wiki

Author: Erin Healy
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
1 review about Never Let You Go

Wonderfully Brooding, Melancholy story--4.5 Stars

  • Apr 13, 2010
Seven years ago Lexi's life fell apart. Her older sister was murdered by the man whom Lexi was secretly having an affair. Her drug dealing husband walked out, leaving her to raise their two year old daughter. Unable to handle his daughter's murder, Lexi's father mentally collapsed and was placed into a facility. Though angry and bitter, Lexi managed to survive and provide a meager existence for her cherished daughter, Molly. When a man from her pasts threatens Molly's life, unless she testifies on behalf of the man who murdered her sister, Lexi is trapped-set a murderer free or save her daughter? She has one week to decide and no one to trust.

I was a bit surprised by Never Let You Go. I had read the two books Healy co-wrote with Dekker, but still wasn't sure what to expect. I had a feeling the style would be pretty similar, which turned out to be correct, but wasn't sure about the feel and content. I was concerned it might be a bit more idealist and happy. Well, I was wrong. It's a wonderfully brooding, melancholy story, which digs into our dark, hidden, self-righteous hearts and brings to light those things that we'd rather not see. It offers glimpses of hope and reminds us that the forgiveness extended to us should be freely given to others. A truly terrific story that is both haunting and beautiful.

I'm a fan of flawed characters. They have a tendency to make a book feel more alive and are usually much more enjoyable to read. In Never Let You Go, the main characters involved, Lexi, Grant, Alice, and Norm, are realistically flawed. They might have made some huge mistakes, but the mistakes are easy to accept and understand. By the end of the book, even the murderer, Norm, became someone the reader could relate to and sympathize with. Whether it was a glimpse at our own souls or a reminder of the chain of actions and consequences, each person brought a unique perspective to the story. These are exceptionally strong characters, marvelously created and used to bring the story to life.

I struggled with the balance of details in this book. The first part of Never Let You Go was a bit slow due to the excess of mundane description. However, there were a couple of section that were baffling in their lack of detail. Towards the end, the level of detail was just right and the story flowed infinitely better.

There were some great points in this story. I particularly enjoyed how Healy took the self-pity that Lexi thrived on and forced her to take responsibility for her part in the disasters that occurred in her life. It was a refreshing approach that increased the impact of the overall story. Not forgotten were themes of love, forgiveness, and hope. All came together and created a beautiful picture of God's grace and its daily effects on our lives.

Healy did a wonderful job of creating a dark environment without blood, gore, or true horror. It's dark because of the character's actions. They created the mess they find themselves in and are having to deal with the consequences. I love how Healy constructed this story so that the sadness, depression, and evil are created and nurtured by the characters. This is one of the darker stories I've read, but it was done in such a natural way, it took awhile to grasp the despair in this book.

Never Let You Go will appeal to a wide variety of people, particularly those that enjoyed Kiss and Burn. The characters are realistic enough to touch most readers and cause them to think about what this book says. It's light on the sermons, with only a couple instances where the story felt interrupted to make a point. At times I felt like it was a bit of a stretch to make the story fit the ideas that were being presented, but not enough to be frustrating. Overall, Healy blended scripture with the story in a way that was obvious, but not intrusive.

Well, I'm happy. It was a well written book with some great characters and an entertaining plot. I enjoyed it better than either of the books Healy co-wrote with Dekker and am looking forward to more solo works by her.

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