Recently, I “met” on Facebook with an author who was releasing a book that ran parallel in theme to one of my current projects. While my project is set in the year 2117 and mostly in space, and hers is set in present-day San Diego, they share the same topic: human trafficking for sexual slavery.
That author is Kathi Macias, and she graciously offered me a chance to read her book, Deliver Me From Evil, sending me a book to my new place before I’d even moved in last month. I’ll be giving away my copy of this book to one lucky reader. See details at the end of this post.
Now, with boxes unpacked, and three fewer distractions in the house (my husband and kids were out of town over the weekend), I was able to finally sit down and read this book.
Mara was bought–by her uncle, no less–at the age of five or six, taken across the border into San Diego where she began her “training”. Now eighteen, she’s known no other life, and has no real hope of ever seeing a normal life. As the eldest of the slaves her uncle has obtained through the years, she’s tasked with teaching them the ropes–or suffer the consequences from her uncle.
A chance encounter with almost-graduated-from-high-school Jonathan Flannery, who is delivering pizzas at the hotel Mara is working one evening, leads to an incredible series of events that changes not only their lives, but all the lives of those around them.
Honestly, I was a little trepidatious about reading this book. I’ve known about human trafficking for more than a decade. The former US Senator, now governor, from Kansas was an early voice throughout the late 90s and into the 21st Century about the topic. (Keep in mind, I’m not even 30 yet, so there may be other voices out there–but given my age, he was the first I really was aware of.) So, I’ve been aware of the horrors for a while. Even more, my church has formed a ministry to aid those stuck in slavery to get out–not just stateside, but abroad in Thailand and India (possibly South Africa) as well.
I shouldn’t have feared.
Although the book was difficult to read, there were enough breathers between the tough scenes with Jonathan Flannery and his family that I was able to read it in four sittings. Ms. Macias is an extremely skillful writer, and while you don’t see the violence and horrors “on screen” so-to-speak, it’s insinuated. I’m not sure which would actually be worse–if it were spelled out, or with my imagination running away with me.
This book is not for the faint of heart. There is some real evil, some very despicable people. Even Mara, who I found myself rooting for throughout most of the book, was plotting to kill her uncle by the end of the book–if she ever got the chance, that is. And really, who could blame her?
If you’re not content to read bonnet books, and are willing to tackle some difficult topics and get your eyes opened, this is definitely a book worth reading.
For my non-Christian readers: this is a Christian book. God is on almost every page. The characters talk about God, pray, attend church, etc. However, human trafficking and sexual slavery is a problem that needs to get dealt with, and the Church is on the frontlines of this battle. When kids–not just girls, boys too–are getting kidnapped in preschool to be placed in this line of “work”, there’s a problem, and whether you’re a Christ-follower or not, you can’t ignore it.
Because I feel so passionately about this topic, and I believe Deliver Me From Evil is such an important book to read, even as a work of fiction, I am going to give away my copy to one lucky reader. All that I ask is that you read it, then pass it on to someone else who will read it, who will then give it to someone else to read, and so on. This book should not remain on your bookshelf! Only through informing others about what’s going on in our cities, in our country, will we be able to put a stop to this.
If you’re interested, please leave a comment below with the first name and last initial of the person you think you’d give this book to. It doesn’t have to be who you eventually give it to, just show me you’re thinking along those lines already. I’ll draw one winner after 6 PM Central Time next Sunday, and announce the winner bright and early Monday morning.
I should also note the fact that this book is the first in a trilogy. There are a few loose threads dangling at the end, so I am eagerly awaiting Freedom Series #2, Special Delivery, in January 2012, and #3, The Deliverer, in April 2012. You can visit Kathi’s website to learn about these and other books.
Until next time,