Customer Reviews for

Not by Sight: A Novel

Average Rating 4.5
( 22 )
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  • Posted July 18, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    I need to start by saying that true "Christian" li

    I need to start by saying that true "Christian" literature is not my cup of tea.  It is just a personal idiosyncrasy, but they are usually too preachy for me.  Therefore I hardly ever seek them out.  What drew me to this book, though, was the setting.  I grew up in the Midwest US and spent most of my summers in the Ozark Mountains.  When I saw that this book was set in the Ozarks, it peaked my interest and I will readily admit that I did not look any further.  So, I want to say upfront, this book is definitely Christian Lit and it never pretends to be anything else.  Accordingly, although I would have enjoyed the book much better myself without the strictly religious references, that is my fault and not that of the book or the author.  

    The main protagonists in this story, Abby and Jay, are best friends and high school students.  Abby has lived with the tragedy of her father and youngest sister's disappearance 5 years before the book is set.  Jay has his own set of skeletons that he would like to keep buried.  When Abby sees a girl in town that she feels HAS to be her missing sister, she enlists Jay in helping her to find out who she is and whether she could, in fact, be Riley Jo.  The story that the author weaves around the sighting of the young girl and the subsequent search for her identity was well presented and kept my interest throughout the book.  I really did become engrossed in the story, and found the mystery part of the book hard to put down.  I found myself saying "just a few more pages.....and a few more.....and a few more...."   In addition, the characters in the book were well developed and easy to identify with.  Although I wasn't sure how things were going to turn out, I really found myself rooting for all of the characters and hoping that everything turned out just the way that they wanted it to.  

    I admit, though, that I was most drawn to the setting of this book.  As I said above, I spent most of my summers as I was growing up in the Ozark Mountains.  In fact, my grandparents had a house on Beaver Lake in Arkansas, and my cousin still lives in the house today.  I am very familiar with the area.....the lake, Benton County (my cousin works for the sheriff's department), Fayetteville, Rogers, Eureka Springs, etc.  I loved reading about this area in a book and felt that the author's representation of the inhabitants,the town folks and the "mountain" families, the sheriff's department, the tourists, and those that cater to them, was spot on.  

    Ultimately this was a book about faith.  Faith in God, faith in the people around you, faith in the law and those that administer it, and faith in the world in general.  As such, the book presented just the right balance of things that worked out and those that didn't.   In fact, it would have been easy for the author to give this story an unbelievable, sugar sweet, Happily Ever After ending.  To her credit, she did not do that.  The ending had just the right amount of positive elements without having everything turn out perfect.  Kudos to her for that!

    In short, this story was well written, with engaging, positive characters who were good role models.  If you are a fan of Christian Literature in all of its forms, I would highly recommend this book.   Alternately, if you have middle schoolers and even young high schoolers and you would like to present them with a book that has a positive message and good role models, I would also recommend this book.  It is the first in a trilogy, and while I am not sure whether I will read the others or not, I am keeping an open mind about it.  To the author - the fact that I read a book so far out of my regular wheelhouse and enjoyed it so much is a testament to your writing skill and ability to tell a story. 

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  • Posted May 30, 2013

    Not by Sight is a story of faith in the face of despair and trag

    Not by Sight is a story of faith in the face of despair and tragedy. Even when her family believes there is no hope of finding her dad and sister, missing for five years, Amy Cummings clings to the belief that they are out there somewhere and will return home.

    Amy acts on the belief that a little girl she sees in town is the missing Riley Joe and finds herself confronted by well-founded doubt from family members. She fails to heed warnings by a foreboding stranger to stop asking questions.

    When Amy enlists the help of her best friend, Jay, she learns he has harbored a dark secret that could be a missing piece of the puzzle. The two take daring risks to find the truth of what happened to Riley Joe and her dad. Their explorations put them both in harm’s way.

    Persistence teaches Amy that, even though things don’t completely turn out the way she had hoped, God is always present and does answer prayer.

    This book was an enjoyable mystery with likeable characters. However, I would like to have seen more in depth characterization. A glimpse into Isaiah’s past to gain deeper insight into why he went to such desperate measures to obtain what he wanted would have enhanced the story for me.

    I would recommend this book to readers who enjoy a good mystery and a heart-warming story with characters who are open about their Christian faith.

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  • Posted April 26, 2013

    Kate Cummings led a happy life with her husband and four childre

    Kate Cummings led a happy life with her husband and four children, until 5 years ago her husband and youngest daughter disappeared. No one heard from them again and Kate and her family were left in uncertainty about their fate.

    Abby is Kate’s oldest daughter—she’s 16 years old. One day when Abby is in town she spots a girl that looks like her little sister Riley Jo. Could it really be her, after all those years? Abby quickly takes a photo with her cell phone, before a bearded man grabs the girl and disappears into a store. 
    Back home Abby shows the picture to her mother, but Kate gave up hope to ever find her baby girl again, so she does not believe the girl in the photo is Riley Jo.
    Abby doesn’t give up hope and together with her best friend, Jay, they start gathering information about the girl in town. Soon an unknown man calls Abby on her cell phone and says she better stop her search for the girl. At first she thought it was a sick joke by one of the guys from school, but when the man calls again and Jay hears the man’s voice, everything changes…

    Who is this man? And why does he want Abby and Jay to stop their search for the girl? What grave danger is ahead of Abby and Jay? Will they ever find out who the girl is? And will Abby finally find out what happened to her father and little sister?

    This book had me on the edge of my seat! I couldn’t wait to find out how things were connected and if there would be a happy ending. Nice job, Kathy Herman!

    *Thanks to the publisher for providing me a review copy through NetGalley.*

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 20, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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