Monday, December 31, 2018

Review: Theodora's Children (Tales Of Hope #2) by Rick Nau

Theodora's Children(Tales Of Hope #2)

35602243Gretchen is her name. She’s the heroine of the story. Some people call her Gretch the Wretch. Not a very nice thing to say about someone, especially if they suffer from a loneliness so intense it could blow the roof off the sky. Certainly she’s not the only person in the world who’s felt this way. You might have felt this way yourself. Or you might feel this way at this very moment, just as Gretchen felt at the beginning of her story. This isn’t to say she’s not a wonderful person. If you get to know her, you’ll find out how wonderful she is. If you don’t, you’ll never know.

My Take:

Jesse takes his great-grandchildren Daph and Josh to the lake each Sunday to enjoy time together and tell them a story. This time the story is concerning a rich daughter named Gretchen who, while showered with everything her heart could imagine, longs for a brother to share her life, fortune, and adventures with.

The brother she longs for is the only present she asks her parents for, but as the years slip by, she cannot understand why they cannot, or will not, answer this request. Sequestered on a sprawling estate with a multitude of staff to wait on her, there is not a single child anywhere she can play with. Until the day she is rescued from a fire by a mysterious child on the estate that nobody believes exists.

Did Gretchen imagine the child who rescued her from death? Was it the brother her parents would never give her? Or is she losing her mind, as her counselors believe?

Drug Content:
G - None.

PG - Children are imprisoned, and there is an execution planned. There is a dangerous chase through a mountain pass. Kidnapping, imprisonment, and betrayal are all present, though no real violence, blood or death occurs.

G - squeaky clean.

Adult Content:
G - This is a kids' book. Not even kissing occurs here.

Christian content:
For most of the book there is very little content that goes beyond moral lessons and classic fairy tale oblique references to wisdom. But approaching the climax of the story the bible plays rather heavily, and the gospel message is clearly presented. Loyalty, self-sacrifice, and generosity are set against pride, malevolence, betrayal, and avarice. Good and evil are crisply defined with little gray area involved.

Final analysis:
Theodora's Children is a story within a story. And while the outer story with Jesse and his great-grandchildren held little to captivate me, the inner story, after some groundwork, was riveting. Slow to get started, the book gained traction a quarter of the way through, and was a page-turner throughout the remainder. Compelling, enthralling, and meaningful, Theodora's Children is a nice book to read aloud to kids ages 6-13. The setting is realistic, the action gripping, the characters well-defined. Five stars!

About the Author:

Rick Nau

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