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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
“For God so loved the world he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” This oft-quoted verse from scripture is the foundation of faith. It’s a testament in itself to help us through times when we are overwhelmed with guilt. We are all sinners. Some sins, though are worse than others. Like murder, the taking of another human life. John Batista has killed someone, but he can’t remember doing the deed and there is something about his past that continues to nag him. It’s something he must confront so he can find his peace with comfort and hope. John must go through a difficult journey to find his way, one that will include a mysterious, but valuable trinket and a widow’s letter – a 'Dear John' letter? The mystery thickens.
Betty Collier’s novel, Dear John, is the second book in The Birthday Gift series that reveals the everlasting power of God’s love and the message so aptly shared in scripture. The plot follows John’s journey to discover himself and find his way through faith. It’s a difficult journey, but one he must take. The plot is well developed, the descriptive narrative is aptly incorporated, and the dialogue is well constructed and believable. The story itself is a tapestry evolving from the heart of a seasoned storyteller. There is heartbreak, hope, and the promise of true forgiveness and love, all through the simple act of belief. The author is well versed in scripture and the choice of the main character’s name wasn’t without profound meaning and attachments. We all know the meaning of a ‘Dear John’ letter, one that will cast away the recipient, and those with faith are more than familiar with the quote from John, one of Jesus’s disciples. This compelling story will lead readers closer to their own sense of faith and acceptance. A deeply sentimental, engaging, and powerful story.