Writing a novel is hard. It is scaling the Cliffs of Insanity, running a marathon and curling your hair, possibly all at the same time.
Clarifying just how hard it is to write a novel is important because The Girl Behind the Red Rope gripped me from the first paragraph until about 3/4ths of the way through. I began loving it, but too quickly the principle mystery was shattered and the whole thing turned into a Christian apologist novel.
In The Girl Behind the Red Rope, Grace is a nineteen year old woman who, for the past thirteen years, has lived in a secluded religious cult in the hills of Tennessee while the world undergoes essentially the apocalypse. Despite the strict rules on personal behavior and appearance, Grace is comfortable there. She is with her mother and her brother, and they are all protected from the fierce beings known as the Fury, who scouring the earth for un-pure souls.
Jamie, Grace’s older brother, is not convinced they have been told the truth. When Jamie voices his doubts in public, both he and Grace are sent out of the protection of the commune and into the wilds. What they experience there convinces them that not only are Fury’s real, but they are much different and terrifying than anyone expected.
This was truly compelling. I gasped, I cried, and I felt next to Grace. I was terrified for her, I encouraged her, and worried for her. And yes, I sobbed for her.
Until it becomes blatantly obvious what story is being patterned, it was a great book. And, if you happened to not know the story of Jesus’s crucifixion, then the last quarter will be a stunning doozy.