“Do you think faith will save us? I don’t know.”
Jolene Adler to her sister Ann Marie
Set in rural Ohio of the 1960’s and 1970’s, Shelli Johnson’s Small As A Mustard Seed is a gripping story about forgiveness, pain, fear, war, and tragic loss. Johnson introduces us to the Adler family: Frank who survives, and just survives the Korean conflict but is brutally afflicted with mental issue and a serious battlefield wound, Adele the wife and mom whose main choice causes the family she wants to keep together to slowly and tragically break apart; Ann Marie, in my opinion the main character of the story and around whom a life of fear and pain is laced with anger and a thin thread of hope and faith, and Jolene, the youngest daughter whose choices leave the family shattered.
What I liked about this novel is that having had a father who was a Korean veteran, but who did not have the condition that Frank did, gave me a different perspective on this book. I also believe that while the plot and action of the book is ultimately very tragic and sad, there is an thread of faith which runs through the book that somewhere both Adele and Ann Marie finally come to grips with after many years.
With a very plausible (and, unfortunately all to often true) plot combined with clean writing makes this book a worthy read. I give this a 5 star rating.
Note: I purchased an ebook copy of this book and wrote this review in response to it.
- Indie Saturday – Author Shelli Johnson on “Small as a Mustard Seed” (randomizeme.net)