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Monday, October 29, 2012

Wounded Faith by Mary Manners

Wounded Faith by Mary Manners
Publisher: White Rose Publishing
Genre: Inspirational, Contemporary
Length: Short Story (39 pages)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Azalea

Kylie Jordan struggles to piece her damaged life back together following the senseless death of her sister at the hands of a drunk driver. She spearheads a grief support group at New Hope Church to ease the pain, and tends to the roadside cross placed in her sister's memory. Mason Bennett yearns to make sense of the reckless actions that stole his brother's life, as well as the life of an innocent victim. His pain leads him to New Hope Church--and Kylie Jordan. Kylie and Mason's lives are woven together by a single, irrevocable moment in time. When the past is revealed, will their faith--and love--sustain them, or will Kylie's fragile trust be forever shattered?

Kylie Jordan, a social worker, struggles to mend her broken life after the death of her sister a year earlier. The pregnant nurse was coming home from work when she was broad-sided by a drunk driver. Faith lingered on for three days, but the driver of the other car was killed instantly. Kylie erected a white cross where the accident occurred, and she passes it each time she goes to the grief support group she leads at her church.

Mason Bennett also lost a family member. His brother Braden died a year earlier when his out of control car hit another vehicle. Mason was a passenger and is haunted by guilt. He was sober and he should have prevented his brother from getting behind the wheel. Life hasn't been easy for Mason, but he's decided to attend a grief support group to see if that will help. He meets Kylie in the parking lot and instantly finds her appearance and manner appealing. After the meeting he lingers, helps her straighten the meeting room, then asks her out for ice cream.

As the days pass, Kylie and Mason find themselves enjoying one another's companionship ­the first social enjoyment for either in a year. Mason is a civil engineer, and Kylie has a plan to construct a bridge over the creek near the church, then landscape the area with flowers and benches. She asks Mason if he'd like to help. Only when they've finished the project and have extra plants to use does he finally connect the lonely white cross with the name Faith written on it with Kylie. It seems both their lives are woven together by a tragic incident. Will their faith be the catalyst to begin the rebuilding process? Can they turn tragedy into hope?

Ms. Manners has penned a moving short story of faith, love and hope. While it's hard to develop characters with any degree of depth in such a short piece, Manners has done a credible job. I enjoyed Wounded Faith very much.