Monday, October 6, 2014

BOOK REVIEW: The Heavens are Telling


It is said that light cancels out all darkness. But what if the light is a ruse?  And what if there are shadows hiding behind the most unassuming corners? 

A frightened teen rescued from the horrors of the licentious streets of Pattaya, Thailand, Nataya, immediately regrets leaving her friend Suchin behind in the brothel. But when Nataya is given life-changing news, she learns that Suchin isn’t the only one that still needs rescuing. 

A lonely Peace Corps volunteer in Cambodia, Jakobi, wants to make a difference in the world. The arrival of two orphaned children in the small village where she lives soon challenges everything Jakobi thought she knew about life and humanity. 

The owner of an eclectic clothing store in Boise, Idaho, Zanna, is fiercely independent. She doesn’t need her family or anyone else. Or at least that’s what she thinks until one horrifying morning changes everything in her life. 

Three compelling and heart-wrenching journeys interweave in unexpected ways to challenge the most basic of beliefs. 

The Heavens Are Telling is a story of evil, sometimes unashamed and blatant, and sometimes disguised behind kind faces and religious norms. Even more, it is a story of God’s grace in unimaginable circumstances. A story of God’s sovereignty and His relentless pursuit of His children, whom He loves, no matter the cost. 

The Heavens Are Telling is the second book in the “Child of Deliverance Series“, following the award winning novel The Earth Is Full.



If you can believe it, until I started reading the e-ARC of The Heavens are Telling, I did not realize this was Christian fiction.  And it took a little while even after I started reading.    Most Christian fiction does not tend to dwell on the less savory aspects of some adherents of the faith.  There are some Christians and Christian churches that are so wrapped up in the letter of the law that they seem to forget the spirit; they know the Law of God, but not His Spirit.

And then there's the subject of the book:  child-trafficking.  This is definitely not a 'light' read.  The Heavens are Telling is definitely in my top ten book read that show both the best and the worst of human nature.  There are the officiants of more than one religion who care more for money and self-importance than they do for members of their own family and innocent children.  As a counterpoint, there are people who travel halfway around the world to rescue the victims of the evil of trafficking; and there are people who are willing to bare their souls and the sins of their past on the off chance that it might help someone listening.

Can I just say that Gage made my skin crawl and leave it at that?

One thing that I really liked about The Heavens are Telling, is that the various story lines were all intricately woven together with great skill.  Jakobi is a Peace Corp volunteer in the same village where two children are in (more than) danger of falling victim to trafficking.  And rescue organization sends a representative to that same village, and Simon and Jakobi wind up attracted to each other.  I could fill up several screen fulls with the ways this story comes back to itself.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 'different Christianities' were shown.  Some people have learned the 'judge not, lest ye be judged' lesson better than others.  Rather than giving me cause to puff myself up thinking, 'Well, at least I'm not as bad as that," the book helps me see that everyone has indeed fallen short of the glory of God, and helps me appreciate His mercy for me and all His children all the more.

Sometimes we forget our blessings.  The Heavens are Telling will help us remember just how blessed we are, even if things are not exactly going our way at the moment.  And have a box of tissues ready.  I was bawling by the end.

To borrow a quote from a recent post on Ms. Riehl's blog..."Every life is important."



B.D. Riehl has been writing stories since third grade when she penned her first short story, Bug Teeth. Since then her writing has expanded to essays in college that were used by her professor to teach his English students proper “reflection” techniques. She has written articles for a local magazine and her small town newspaper. For years she has written short stories and scattered chapters and kept them between herself and the Lord. 

In November of 2012, B.D. Riehl felt called to write a book to raise awareness for Destiny Rescue, an organization that rescues children from sex trafficking. The Earth is Full was released in September 2013 to 5 star reviews. 

When not writing, B.D. Riehl enjoys spending time with her husband and three daughters listening to music and reading books together. Her oldest is an artist and Riehl can’t wait for the day they can write and illustrate children’s books together. 


(Disclosure:  I received an e-ARC of The Heavens are Telling from the author and publisher in exchange for an unbiased review.)

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