“God’s Hostage”, by Andrew Brunson with Craig Borlase

Publication Date: Oct. 15, 2019

Review by Amy Tollison, Mary Wood Weldon Memorial Library

In October, 2016 missionary pastor Andrew Brunson and his wife Norine walked into a Turkish police station, expecting to talk about visa issues. Instead, they were arrested and told that they would be deported. They were not deported. After a few days, Norine was released, but Andrew remained in jail. This began a two-year journey of ever greater and more outlandish charges of terrorism and spying. Andrew was moved from a local jail to prison, with his rights stripped away.

Pastor Brunson tells this story in his own words. While his imprisonment was well-known throughout the world, this book gives readers a glimpse inside the prison and inside the mind of the man himself. It is a harrowing story of suffering, of a man continuously on the edge of a complete breakdown. Brunson transparently shares his fear, anxiety and faith struggles.

The book is also a terrifying glimpse into the Turkey of Recep Erdogan. Political intrigue, a puppet judiciary and press, and overcrowded prisons all played a role in the unjust treatment of Andrew Brunson. At this time in Turkey, all it takes is a simple, unfounded accusation from a single witness to find oneself on the wrong side of the legal system.

Still, Pastor Brunson’s story is also one of triumph. He tells of the amazing work that happened on the world stage and behind the scenes to secure his release. Prayers from people of faith all around the world, petitions by world leaders, attorneys from major religious freedom and human rights groups, and continuous pressure from the U.S. government were all directed towards freeing Brunson. In the end, his story is one of victory over injustice as well as over his own doubts and fears.

God’s Hostage is an inspiring and eye-opening account of one man’s journey through religious and political persecution, and a reminder that many Christians throughout the world still suffer for their faith today. Check it out at the library.


“Faking Forever” by Catherine Bybee

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“A Girl’s Guide to the Outback” by Jessica Kate

Samuel Payton is a passionate youth pastor in Virginia, but below the surface, he’s still recovering from the blow of a failed business and insecurities he can’t shake. His coworker, start-up expert Kimberly Foster, is brilliant, fearless, and capable, but years of personal rejection have left her defensive and longing for a family. Two people have never been more at odds or more attracted to one another.

“Deadly Commitment” by Kathy Harris

Danni Kemp fears she’s being stalked — but the truth is much more deadly. Her new fiancé, Robert Evans, has a dangerous secret. The homeless man Caleb, who is stalking her, may prove to be her only escape from a hidden world of crime. Will she discover in time that neither Robert nor Caleb are who they appear to be and the one person she fears may be the one person she needs to trust?

“When Love Finds You” by Virginia Wise

Scandal drove Catrina Witmer from her life as a wealthy Englischer’s pampered daughter — to reluctant membership in Pennsylvania’s thriving new Amish settlement. Surprisingly, Catrina finds contentment and peace in this promising new land, though she won’t risk telling anyone about her past. But the unexpected sparks between her and bashful warm-hearted farmer Eli Webber suddenly have her dreaming of an impossible chance at happiness — as his wife. Eli never imagined such a spirited woman would look his way. Or that he could ever deserve her, given his own guilty mistakes. But Catrina’s vivacity and kindness have him impulsively proposing. Unfortunately, his over-righteous sister, and the consequences of secrets on both sides, threatens to tear their marriage apart for good.

“Husband Material” by Emily Belden

Twenty-nine-year-old Charlotte Rosen has a secret: she’s a widow. Ever since the fateful day that leveled her world, Charlotte has worked hard to move forward. Yet Charlotte’s algorithms could never have predicted that her late husband’s ashes would land squarely on her doorstep five years later. Stunned but determined, Charlotte sets out to find meaning in this sudden twist of fate, even if that includes facing her perfectly coiffed, and perfectly difficult, ex-mother-in-law — and her husband’s best friend, who seems to become a fixture at her side whether she likes it or not.But when her quest reveals a shocking secret, Charlotte is forced to answer questions she never knew to ask and to consider the possibility of forgiveness.

– Descriptions provided by publishers

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