Friday, November 24, 2006
Alexa Poole’s older sister, Rebecca, has lived at the Falkman Residential Center since an accident left her mentally compromised—vulnerable, innocent. Now, 17 years later, she has vanished. As Alexa searches for Rebecca, disturbing questions surface. Why did the car that Rebecca was riding in swerve off the road killing her college friend, Leanne McNeil? And what about the mysterious check for $50,000 found in Rebecca’s room signed by her friend’s father, Gavin McNeil?
For me, Seahorse in the Thames was a completely riveting and thoroughly engrossing novel unlike any I've read this past year. The mystery of the heroine's sister's disappearance is only the proverbial tip of the iceberg in this intense novel. Meissner immediately drew me in to the story with her opening chapter. Her masterfully-crafted pacing and tension kept me reading to the very end. This book was truly hard to put down. I felt like Alexa AKA Lexi was my friend. My heart went out to her because of the struggles she had with her family. I understood her desire for a relationship and clearly saw where the need came from. Also, Lexi's heart for Stephen and the way she saw him intrigued me. In short, I cared about every character in the story. Even the "bad guys."
Meissner also tucks a wealth of life-changing spiritual material seamlessly into the pages of this novel. In many ways the message she delivers is subtle, yet it rings with such a profound and universal truth that for the believer the lesson goes straight to the heart of the matter. Just like the story of the seahorse found in the Thames, the treasure discovered by the fisherman in the murky, polluted waters of the river, a precious lesson was unearthed during one of the worst times in Lexi's life. I was blown away by the author's insight and amazed by the impact this novel had on my heart. I devoured every page. Words can't adequately express how much this story ministered to me. In fact, I'll stop trying, since I've barely skimmed the surface of what I'd meant to say.
On the easier-to-explain craft of writing, I found the characters and their problems to be very realistic. They seemed more like friends than characters in a book. The plot had many unexpected twists and there was nothing cliche or predictable. I loved that about the story. The emotion was genuine, and not once did I feel manipulated by the author. And to top that all off, the setting was so rich I felt like packing up my belongings and heading for the beach! If I were to grade this novel I'd give it an A++. Well done and highly recommended!
Seahorse in the Thames was published by Harvest House and released in July 2006.