Her Sister Couldn’t Be Alive … Could She?
It had to be Riley Jo. She was certain. . .wasn’t she? But when Abby Cummings tells her mother she thought she saw her sister at the store, her mother quickly dismisses the idea. After all, Riley Jo and their father had been missing for years. Presumably dead. Yet Abby cannot ignore her intuition. Telling her friend J. D., they investigate. But J. D. may know more about the disappearance than he’s telling, or even realizes. And as they work to uncover what happened, all they have to go on is blind faith. Will it be enough. . .especially considering what the truth might be?
About the Author
Best-selling suspense novelist Kathy Herman has written nineteen novels—including the Sophie Trace series, the Secrets of the Roux River Bayou series, the Seaport Suspense series, and the Phantom Hollow series—since retiring from her family’s Christian bookstore business. She and her husband, Paul, have three grown children and live in Tyler, Texas.
Read an Excerpt
NOT by SIGHT
By Kathy Herman
David C. CookCopyright © 2013 Kathy Herman
All rights reserved.
Abby Cummings floated in the opaque gray fog that separated slumber from wakefulness. The buzz of her alarm clock would soon fill the silence. She would have to open her eyes and face the day she'd been dreading for weeks. Why was it still traumatic after five years? Everyone told her that time heals all wounds. Not hers. And especially not today.
She turned on her side and stole a glance at the clock before clamping her eyes shut again. Four forty-five. She still had thirty minutes. She hugged the same pillow that had faithfully muffled her anguished sobs and despairing cries, and had been pummeled with her blows of helplessness. Not that using her pillow to vent had ever made her feel better. Or stopped the torment of living without closure. But it had afforded her a private place to deal with raw emotion without feeling judged for it.
Her family seldom talked about what had happened anymore. But the past lurked in the shadows, uttering the same relentless litany of questions for which only God had answers. The anniversary always brought it back with bone-chilling clarity.
Abby sighed and sat up, rubbing her eyes and letting her legs dangle over the side of the bed. She turned on the lamp and glanced at the empty toddler bed across the room, still made up with a pink-and-white fitted quilt. She could almost see the tiny figure that once occupied it, cheeks rosy with sleep, a smile twitching the corner of her mouth as a sweet dream danced through her mind.
She ached for those tender moments of cuddling with her sister and singing lullabies. Riley Jo's curls always smelled like baby shampoo and seemed softer than the shared pillow that cradled their heads.
Abby swallowed the sting in her throat and told herself not to cry. She needed to be brave today. Her mother would be more fragile than usual—not that she would admit it to anyone.
Abby slid out of bed and onto the wood floor. She stepped over to her dresser, opened the top drawer, and carefully removed a small white-satin box. She took out the gold heart ring with a tiny diamond she'd received for her tenth birthday and held it in her palm. She pressed the ring to her cheek and closed her eyes, remembering the sound of her father's voice.
"You'll always be my princess," Daddy said, sliding the heart ring on her finger. "Even when you're all grown up and some handsome and brilliant young man convinces you to marry him ..."
The blaring alarm clock stole the sweetness of the moment, and Abby rushed over and turned it off. She let her racing pulse settle down and held the ring to the light once more, blinking back her tears. Finally, she returned the precious keepsake to the satin box and tucked it in the corner of her drawer. Not even happy memories would ease the angst of reliving this painful, life-changing day for a fifth time. She just wanted to get it behind her.
She picked up her khakis and Angel View staff shirt from the overstuffed chair next to her bed and pushed herself toward the bathroom.
It would be a tough day to get through. Working would help. But she wasn't going to pretend it was just another day, even if the rest of her family did.
* * *
Abby hurried along the glass wall at Flutter's Cafe, balancing a tray of empty breakfast dishes on one palm, the sadness in her heart soothed by the magnificent lava-colored sky visible as far as the eye could see. Sunrays fanned out from the golden rim separating earth and sky and turned the blanket of fog on Beaver Lake a glowing shade of pink—
Abby felt a jolt, and then the tray flew from her hand and landed with a deafening crash. Glass shattered. Silverware clanked on the stone floor. Her cheeks flushed as she stared at her mother.
Kate Cummings scanned the broken dishes, a look of realization replacing her blank stare. "That door really whacked you. Let me see." She gently brushed the hair off Abby's forehead and looked for any sign of injury. "You're going to have a bump, honey. But it's not bleeding. How do you feel?"
"My pride hurts a lot worse than my head." Abby felt her cheeks warm as she imagined customers staring. "What about you?"
"Yes, yes, I'm fine."
Her mother smoothed her neatly coiffed hair that was almost as gray as it was auburn, then straightened the Angel View owner-manager name tag she had worn ever since Abby could remember.
"Sorry, Mama. You can take it out of my paycheck."
"I'm not going to dock you." Her mother smiled, though her eyes looked tired and sad. "Just be careful."
"The sunrise was awesome, and for a moment I almost forgot ... anyhow, it won't happen again."
Her mother seemed to go a little pale at the reminder. Abby ducked down to pick up the silverware and broken dinnerware.
"Don't fool with that, honey. You'll cut yourself." Mama reached for her arm and pulled her to her feet.
Abby avoided eye contact. It was impossible to hide her feelings, and it seemed obvious that her mother was working hard to contain her own.
Savannah Surette, her ponytail swaying from side to side, hurried over to them. "Here, boss," she said to Mama. "Let me get that. I'll fetch the broom and have this cleaned up in no time."
"Thanks." Her mother glanced over at the bustling dining room and then out the window at the June sunrise that painted the clouds covering the lake. "I'm sure the guests hardly noticed our little mishap—not with a view like that."
"That's fuh shore," Savannah said. "The bayou was pretty, and we had oodles of fog, but we didn't have Angel View Lodge. First time I've ever lived in a place where I could look down on the clouds. Takes my breath away."
"You and Benson are a great addition to our staff."
"You mean for a couple of crazy Cajuns who talk funny?" Savannah laughed. "We do love it here." She looked down at the mess again. "I'll be right back."
Mama put her arm around Abby. "I'm glad you weren't hurt."
"Sorry for the hassle. I'm a little off today." Abby waited, longing for her mother to say something—anything—to acknowledge the anniversary.
"Well, an Angel View sunrise can distract the best of us." Her mother's cheery demeanor belied the heaviness in her voice. She wet her finger and wiped something off Abby's cheek. "It's a good thing that Beaver Lake is beautiful in every season. Mother Nature draws the guests. All we have to do is make them comfortable."
"You sounded like Daddy just then."
"I'm surprised you remember details like that after all this time."
"I do. And I remember the last time I heard his voice was five years ago today."
Mama flinched ever so slightly, and Abby could almost hear the dead bolt slide across the door of her heart. "I'm well aware of what day this is." She seemed to stare at nothing, her eyes watering. "I'm glad you find comfort in remembering. I don't."
"Don't you ever wonder if Daddy and Riley Jo are still alive?"
"I accepted a long time ago that they're not coming back. Maybe one of these days we'll find out what happened so we can put it to rest."
Abby bit her lip. "People still gossip. Why don't you defend Daddy?"
Her mother ran her thumb across the diamond wedding band she still wore. "We've been through this, Abby. My being defensive won't stop the gossip. Or change anyone's mind. Gossip is pure poison, and there are always casualties."
"Well, I refuse to be a casualty." Abby folded her arms across her chest. "I'm the only one in this family who ever defends Daddy."
"And has defending him put a stop to the talk?"
"At least everyone knows where I stand."
Mama tilted Abby's chin and looked her squarely in the eyes. "There's a pain so deep in me, there're no words for it. But I don't feel obligated to discuss my private thoughts with anyone."
"Because you have doubts?"
"Because I don't. Now drop it."
"Yes, ma'am." Abby set her lips in a straight line and turned away.
"It's hard enough getting through each day without them," Mama said. "It doesn't help when my own daughter criticizes me for the way I handle my grief. I can only be what I am. I can't live in the past, even if people in town are still whispering about it. I've put it behind me the best I can."
Well, I haven't. Abby looked back into her mother's pretty face and sad blue eyes, wishing she hadn't brought it up.
Savannah came out of the kitchen, carrying a large plastic bucket, a broom, a mop, and a dustpan. "Benson said to tell y'all that he's making gumbo and cornbread for today's lunch special. That oughta make your taste buds stand up and sing."
"Everything he's made so far has," Mama said. "I'm enjoying adding a little Cajun flair to our Ozark cuisine."
As Abby left the conversation, she glanced out at the tinted fog on the lake, powerless to shake the heavy, ominous, unsettling feeling that she had anticipated would descend on this day. The only thing harder to bear than the unanswered questions was the fact that her mother had stopped asking them.
* * *
Buck Winters sat with a friend at Flutter's Café and observed his granddaughter taking the breakfast order of the folks at table six. Even though Abby was pleasant, he could tell that the smile she wore was strictly professional. She was probably embarrassed and upset about the earlier mishap.
Abby liked to please. And Kate had high expectations of everyone on staff, including her kids. Probably because Kate and Micah had built Angel View Lodge from the ground up and invested so much of themselves. Since Micah's disappearance, it had become almost a monument to his memory.
Buck's gaze followed his granddaughter as she tended to customers. Abby was so much like Kate at sixteen, her hair long and thick and the color of an Irish setter. Deep blue eyes. Fair skin and a natural blush to her cheeks. Cute figure. Sweet from the inside out. It was both a wonder and a blessing that she didn't have a serious boyfriend to complicate her young life. One more year of high school—and then she would be off to college.
"Where'd you go, Buck?" Titus Jackson said. "You seem miles away."
Buck lowered his gaze and peered over the top of his glasses at the retired history professor who reminded him of Sidney Poitier. "Sorry, Titus. I was thinkin' about Abby. Seems like yesterday she wore her hair in pigtails and I carried her on my shoulders down to our favorite fishin' hole." He chuckled. "And I'd hate to guess how many times I put the arms and legs back on that baby doll she just wouldn't part with."
Titus took a sip of coffee. "And now she's lost interest in the doll and the fishing?"
Buck smiled. "At least she's not boy crazy. That's one headache we don't have yet. She hangs out with Jay Rogers, a real nice kid from school, but they're just friends."
"I imagine it's hard on Kate, raising Abby, Hawk, and Jesse without the love and support of a husband."
"It helps havin' her dad livin' with her," Buck said. "I do what I can. But it's hard on those kids growin' up without a dad. I'd give anything to see Micah walk through that door with Riley Jo and put an end to this nightmare. In case you didn't know, it was five years ago today that they disappeared."
Titus ran his finger around the rim of his cup. "I didn't know y'all when they went missing, but it's easy to see the painful effects of it. Mind if I ask you a personal question?"
"Did the sheriff ever have a lead in the case?"
Buck shook his head. "Micah and Riley Jo just seemed to vanish. Micah's truck was still parked in the driveway. Kate was the only family member around that afternoon. I'd taken Jesse to a movie, and Hawk was workin' at the lumber company. Abby'd spent the night with a friend but called to check in that morning. I was sittin' in the kitchen at the time. Micah answered, and they had a right cute exchange. Before they hung up, Micah said he'd see her at dinner. Sure sounded to me like he planned to be home."
"So Kate was the last person to see Micah and Riley Jo?"
"As far as we know. Micah came into the office and told Kate he was takin' Riley Jo fishin'. Kate was busy and didn't see them leave. None of the guests did either, which I found kinda odd. Sheriff's deputies searched the path to the lake and combed the woods around it. Never found any sign of them."
"Has anyone else disappeared?"
"Nope. I suppose you've heard the rumors."
Titus shrugged. "I've heard a few oddballs say Bigfoot got them—or aliens. And I've heard others say Micah ran off with another woman and took Riley Jo with him. I'd rather know what you think."
"Thanks for that. Speculation's been hurtful. Truth is, Kate and Micah had been fussin' at each other for a couple weeks over a business issue they disagreed on. The sheriff had to consider the possibility that Micah left her. Never rang true with me. But you never really know what's goin' on inside a person either."
"Any idea why he'd take his youngest daughter with him?"
Buck wrapped his hands around his coffee cup. "All I can figure is Riley Jo was the only one of his kids young enough to forget the past. She'd be able to adapt to his new life. But even if he wanted out of the marriage, I can't see Micah bein' cruel enough to take Kate's baby girl away from her."
"So this is what the rumor mill's been feeding off of all this time?"
"No. Kate and me and the sheriff are the only ones who know they were havin' a squabble." Buck stroked his mustache. "Gossip started flyin' after a couple town busybodies thought they might've spotted Micah and Riley Jo at the corner of Main and Cleveland, gettin' into a car with some blonde woman. Of course, neither of them can describe the car or the woman. And, at the busiest intersection in town, no one else saw them. But as time went on, the story got enhanced. I'm sure some folks believe it."CHAPTER 2
Kate went out the front entrance of Angel View Lodge, the morning sun high and the fog now dissipated. She walked across the road and spotted her son Jesse on the porch of their two-story log house, his red wagon parked at the bottom of the steps and filled with plastic jugs.
"Hi, Mama!" Jesse bounded down the steps and ran toward her. "Hawk and I loaded the wagon with nectar for the hummingbirds."
Jesse came to an abrupt stop and threw his arms around her waist. "Thanks for trusting me with this. I won't let you down."
"I never thought you would." Kate brushed his fine dark hair out of his eyes, noting that the smattering of freckles across his nose and cheeks seemed to have multiplied from exposure to the sun. "I have every confidence in you, or I wouldn't have put you in charge of the hummingbirds for the summer. It's a big job. And I wouldn't let just anyone do it. You know how I love them."
"Me, too. I'll make sure they never run out of nectar. I promise!" Jesse's eyes were round and animated, the color of the summer sky.
"I'm proud of you for the effort you're putting into this."
Jesse puffed out his skinny chest, as if to show off the word staff embroidered above the pocket of his bright blue Angel View Lodge T-shirt. "I Googled so much stuff about the ruby-throated hummingbird, I should be able to answer any questions the guests ask me. I'm the go-to guy, right?"
"Absolutely." Kate smiled. Micah would be so proud of him. It broke her heart that Jesse could hardly remember his father.
"I'd better get going. I have a ton of feeders to fill." Jesse hugged her waist again and ran toward the wagon. "See you later, Mama."
"I love you," she called.
"Love you, too! Bye!"
Kate watched as Jesse took the wagon by the handle and headed for the hummingbird garden, looking oh-so-grown-up and responsible. Had she contributed to that, or was he just a great kid all on his own? She worried whether Micah and Riley Jo's disappearance would cause any long-term effects in Jessie, who had been just five when they went missing. Half his life, he'd been living with that loss and a mother consumed with grief.
Kate heard the screen door slam and glanced up. Hawk stood on the porch, slipping his arms into the straps of his backpack.
Kate walked up the steps. "Thanks for helping your brother. He is beyond excited."
"Doesn't take much to float his boat," Hawk Cummings said.
"Why the sarcasm? A word of encouragement from his big brother would go a long way."
"I did encourage him. I just think you're making too much of it."
Kate eyed her oldest son. "You sound jealous."
"It's nothing like that, Mama. But y'all are acting like Jesse's the only one who does anything around here."
Excerpted from NOT by SIGHT by Kathy Herman. Copyright © 2013 Kathy Herman. Excerpted by permission of David C. Cook.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
A Note from the Author,
Not by Sight,
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Not by Sight, Kathy Herman ***** Christian Fiction at its best. I loved this book. Five years ago Abby Cummings father and younger sister Riley Jo disappeared with out a trace. Abby thinks she sees her sister outside a store in Foggy Ridge, but she has thought this before. Her family has had their hearts broken numerous times and wants no part of Abby’s wild goose chase. Jay her best friend decides to help her find the little girl she saw until Abby starts getting threaten calls. Will the caller make good on his threat? Together they try to find Riley Jo but find trouble. Their faith may be the only thing keeping them alive. How is Jay connected to their disappearance? Their search will take you on a roller coaster ride and keep you at the edge of your seat. Read the book to find out the truth about Abby’s father and sister. Kathy Herman did an awesome job combining the trill of suspense and faith. She was able to show family dynamics and the struggles experienced by believers and non believers living in one household in a believable way. I am grateful I received this book from The Bookclub Network for my honest option.
"Joy and pain are like sunshine and rain" I thoroughly enjoyed this mystery.
This was the first book I had the privilege of reading by Kathy Herman, and I loved it. Not By Sight intrigued me with the back cover and kept me reading throughout. I loved the story line, the characters were very touching, and I loved the spiritual elements woven throughout. I hope I get the opportunity to read more great books from this wonderful author! I received a copy of this book from book club network in response for my honest opinion.
Excellent Suspense! Owner of Angel View Lodge located in the Ozark Mountains, Kate Cummings and her family are intensely aware of the fifth anniversary of the sudden disappearance of Micah, Kate's husband, and her youngest daughter, two-year-old Riley Jo. The two had gone fishing and never returned. Kate and Abby's older brother have lost all faith and hope in God since Micah and Riley Jo disappeared. Sixteen-year-old Abby is unable to let go of her losses, and when she encounters a little girl who strongly resenbles her little sister she is convinced that it could by Riley Jo, and proceeds to take a picture of the child with her phone. Abby believes that God has given her this sighting as a sign that her little sister may still be alive. Kate forbids her to proceed with her search, but Abby is convinced that the child is her sister. Her best friend Jay is supportive, and although danger may be imminent he assists Abby in her quest for her lost sister. This story of extreme loss is heartwrenching, but filled with hope. Each character has a unique way of dealing with the loss of their family members, and moving forward with their lives. Kathy Herman has done a superb job of developing strong and credible characters, and the descriptive elements surrounding the resort area in the Ozark Mountains are picturesque. Hope and faith are strong currents that flow throughout this suspenseful novel. Potential readers would be wise to prepare for an adequate amount of time to read this book in its entirety. Once you begin reading you won't want to put this book down! Excellent writing! Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book through the For Readers Only program through The Book Fun group in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own, and no monetary compensation was received for this review. Thank you to Fred St Laurent and David C Cook Publishing.
~ As I was reading "Not By Sight" I could not put ti down, I literally read it in one day.I enjoyed the way the author weaved the mystery, and could picture the story clearly from the descriptions. The way the Mother and Brothers came back to Christ was uplifting and well done.I felt a strong connection to the Main Character Abby. Her confidence to continue to do things in the face of of people who did not believe her, or thought she was crazy. Her friendship with Jay was also very touching, if not a bit predictable. I loved the description the author made of the sunrise, it made me catch my breath. I would differently recommend this book to others! I received this book from bookfun in return for my honest opinion.
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.
This is one of the best mysteries I have ever read, all the way from the cover to the last page. Not by Sight is earnest, wholesome, and gripping, with scenes that I easily imagined myself in. Oh yes... I was right there with Abby. I could feel the damp ground, the darkness, the terror of being... well, I can't really say where she was, but when you read it you'll understand. I love the Cummings family. Hawk, 21, the eldest son. A sharp young man who has resigned himself to living without his father and baby sister... even if his heart does a double take every-time he sees someone who looks like Riley Jo or their Dad. Abby, the oldest daughter, age almost 16. Abby fell into the arms of her Savior six months ago and knows that all things are possible with Him. She is not imagining this little girl who looks so much like Riley Jo, and she is willing to step into the fog and walk by faith to restore their family. Jesse, age 10. This little boy is old enough to manage the hummingbird feeders by himself this summer, and has just discovered the God whom his Grandpa loves. This child's faith is going to help uphold the family in the fiery trial. Mrs. Cummings, who has mourned her husband and daughter for five long years. God seems distant and prayer seems purposeless, all she wants is closure. Any reality that she needs to face would be welcome, in a heartbreaking way... even confirmation that they are not coming home. Grandpa Cummings, the godly man who leads their home. He is wise and loving, helping his grandchildren and daughter deal with their tragedy. And there is Angel View Lodge, a peaceful retreat deep in the gorgeous Ozark Mountains. It was Micah Cumming's dream, and his wife and children continue it in his memory. Every description of the inn and the mountains made me want to go there and stay. Thank you Mrs. Herman for sharing this favorite place of yours, and making it a favorite place of mine through this story. I read all Christian fiction, because I love the way the authors grapple with spiritual themes. I have read a lot of books that explore belief and doubt in excellent ways, and Not by Sight is one of the most real. The conversations they have, the growth they experience, I loved it. (The inclusion of the guardian angel theme was so cool, because I do believe that the angels of the Lord surround those He loves!) In short, Thank you Mrs. Herman for your sweet surprise gift of this novel. I wanted to tell the world how good it is, so I wrote these thoughts. Thank you again for writing this book. I can't wait for the rest of the trilogy. :-)
This was one of the best books I have ever read! It was a mystery, romance,Christian..a little bit of everything. I would wake up in the morning to read and then before going to bed read some more. I give it the biggest rating I could possibly give it. I wish they would make a movie out of this book! Kathy Herman is a great writer and I want to read all of her books. Well worth your time!
Not by Sight by Kathy Herman is a great book and filled with enough suspense to keep any reader happy. Five years ago, Abby’s father and two year old sister disappeared without a trace. At the beginning of the book, Abby sees a young girl in town and she is sure that it is her missing sister. She takes a photo with her cell phone but when she shows the photo to her mother, her mother refuses to listen. Abby is determined to continue the search for her sister and her best friend Jay offers his help. As they work at gathering information about the young girl, Abby receives a call from an unknown man who insists that she stop the search. When the same man calls the second time, Jay hears the voice and a long forgotten memory comes back to haunt Jay. Abby and Jay will not stop the search and their perseverance pays off for they do locate the girl but then trouble really begins to happen. The author did an excellent job writing suspense into the story and by the time I finished reading the book I had no fingernails left. She also did a great job in the development of the characters and their dialogue and actions. Many times I wanted to shake the mother and tell her to wake up and listen to her daughter but then I would think that had I gone through what she had I might have acted the same way. The plot was filled with twists and turns that kept me guessing as to what would happen next. Having lived near Beaver Lake many years ago, I especially enjoyed the descriptions of the scenery in the area. I was impressed with the way that the author handled the family’s faith in God. The mother and older son had lost faith but the other members were strong in their faith. Many times the only thing that Abby and Jay had as they searched for Riley Jo was their faith in God. I would recommend this book to everyone who likes a wonderful story filled with adventure, suspense, budding romance, family love, and the love and forgiveness of God. I received a complimentary copy of this book from David C. Cook at Net Galley in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
Excellent YA Suspense All families know the fear of loosing a child or a husband/parent, and this book centers on that fear. This book realistically demonstrates the effects that tragedies have on the ones left behind. Herman builds realistic characters that allow the readers to empathize with their feelings and understand their reactions, while delivering a great mystery story. This is definitely a great example of a YA novel that engrosses and uplifts those who read it, but it appeals to readers of all ages with great suspense, too.
I won a copy of this book from Mary Vee's "Let's Talk" website. It is even better than I expected. Kathy Herman makes you fall in love with her characters as you bite your nails or cry along with them. There are lessons of faith, as well as, suspense and even some romance. I devoured this book. I could not turn the pages fast enough.
This was an easy, suspensful read. I thought a couple times that the story MUST be over, but it wasn't. I'll most certainly give this author who us new to me more reads!
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.
This book takes you on a wonderfully suspenseful journey through blind faith. It really shows what can happen when we put our trust in God to help us through difficult times in our lives. It also shows the human side of being able to let go and let God take control. The characters just draw you in and take hold...you have to keep turning the pages!! Rating: 5 Heat Rating: Sweet Reviewed by: skinner.tammy Courtesy of My Book Addiction
I had not read any of Kathy Herman's books before. I have already added her next 2 books of the triology to my to be read list. The story revolved around the disappearance of a husband and little girl five years ago. The story delves into the emotions and tests of faith that occur during those 5 years in trying to determine what happened to the two of them( whether they are alive or dead). The story has so many twists and turns it keeps you on your toes with what is happening.I received a copy of the book from bookfun to review for my honest opinion.
Herman is an excellent author painting vivid word pictures which allow her readers to feel as if they are there, part of the story... This is one series that will keep you on the edge-of-your-seat, peeking around corners, looking for the next exciting scene. The author did a fabulous job with characterization. If you enjoy romantic suspense novels with some inspirational elements, then I think you will really like this book. I could not put this book down!
A father and his 2 year old daughter disappear one day without a trace......and for five years questions go unanswered, until one day, a chance encounter with a 7 year old girl changes everything for Abby and her family....... Kathy Herman's newest suspense novel Not by Sight, is the first in the Ozark Mountain Trilogy. Kathy takes you on a family's journey of loss and the role that faith plays in each of their lives. Some will lose their faith, one will be sustained by faith, one begins a life of faith. And when one of the family chooses to walk by faith and not by sight, it will lead the family to a reunion, that no one thought possible. Not by Sight's suspense will have you on the edge of your seat. It's lessons in faith will teach you about the many facets of the human spirit and in the end, it will leave you with tears of joy. I received a copy of this book from the Book Club Network, in exchange for my honest review.
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.*
There are very few authors that I have listed as a "Must Read" based solely on the quality of work they have published in the past. Kathy Herman is one of those authors, and this book, the first in a new series, does not disappoint. Abby is a typical teenager in a typical lakeside town. She helps out her mother and family at the family business, waiting tables and whatever else is needed. Her best friend JD is always by her side, best friends since they were young. The only thing out of the ordinary is that her dad and younger sister have been missing for 5 years and no one knows where they are. In downtown one day, though, Abby is sure that she has spotted her sister. She snaps some photos of her, but then loses sight of her. She talks to her mother about the sighting, but she brushes her off because this isn't the first time she's "sure" she's seen her sister. JD agrees to help her locate this little girl and before you know it they are in a race for their life with a mountain man who doesn't like them prying into his business. Trapped in his cellar with nowhere to go and no one knowing where they are, will they make it out alive? Is this little girl her long lost sister? What happened to her dad? You'll find out as soon as you BUY THE BOOK! Is this a "guy's book"? I would have to say that this pretty darn close to being a great guy's book. There is definitely intrigue, chase scenes and even a pack of wild animals. Any man would be enthralled with this book.