(Faith Under Fire Trilogy, Book 2)

Fiction - Suspense
320 Pages
Reviewed on 10/11/2015
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Gwen Sutton is an award winning author and playwright who writes to inspire others to seek Christ and lead victorious lives through His Grace. With this goal in mind, Gwen founded Lift Him Up Productions, Inc. to lift up the Gospel of Jesus Christ through books, plays, and other works. She currently serves as President/CEO of the organization.

Gwen’s thrilling “Faith Under Fire Trilogy” has received international industry recognition. Endurance (Book 2), won a prestigious Silver Medal in the Readers’ Favorite International Book Awards, and also received a Hollywood Book Award Honor. All Means All, If You Believe (Book 1) and Restored (Book 3) were both assigned Readers’ Favorite five star ratings. Gwen’s first gospel play, Our Daily Bread, won the Best Drama award in the DC Black Theatre Festival’s One Act Battle Competition.

Born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee, Gwen now lives in Alexandria, Virginia, with her wonderful husband, Swindell. She has one daughter and three fantastic grandchildren. Gwen enjoys writing, acting, worship dancing, missions work, and traveling.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Chris Fischer for Readers' Favorite

Wow. In a sad, touching and unfortunately appropriate story for the times, author Gwen Sutton has provided her readers with an absolutely wonderful piece of work in her new novel, Endurance. Follow the story of the beautiful Dereka Jones as her life changes from one of love and happiness to one of terror and dismay. Dereka has been kidnapped and sold into sexual slavery. Dereka's family, especially her mother, grandmother and two aunts with whom she has very close and special relationships, do all they can to get her back. When they realize who has done this to Dereka and their family, a man who wants nothing but revenge, their fears grow even stronger.

Endurance was simply a great read. It's obvious that author Gwen Sutton put a lot of time and care into her book, and that shows through in the wonderful portrayal of her main characters. Dereka and her strong and loving female family members are characters that Ms. Sutton's readers will connect with, relate to and continue to think about long after the book is finished. If that isn't a hallmark of a great author, I don't know what is. The story is written with a great sensitivity to victims of sexual slavery and abuse, and utilizes a wonderful sense of Christian undertones that doesn't overpower the story line, instead it enhances it. I am very happy to recommend Endurance by Gwen Sutton. I look forward to reading more from this very promising author in the future!

Tracy Slowiak

In Endurance, a heart-wrenching tale of atrocity and redemption, author Gwen Sutton has provided her readers with a story that will certainly stay with them long after the book is done. Protagonist Dereka Jones has led a pretty charmed live. A beautiful young woman, she has four wonderful women in her life, her mother, grandmother and two aunts, who have loved her and served as her role models from the time she was an infant. But when an evil man with a horrible vendetta against her family kidnaps Dereka, and she ends up forced into sexual slavery, her whole life is undoubtedly turned upside down. Her family will do anything to get her back, and the strong Christian faith of all of the women helps them to keep up the hope that Dereka will be returned to the loving arms of her family, but their path is certainly not a smooth one.

I loved this book. Loved. It. Author Gwen Sutton has done a simply wonderful job in creating characters that I felt for and cared about. Readers will feel sickened by the situation that Dereka finds herself in, but will remain hopeful throughout that with the love of her family and with help from God, she will get through the awful circumstances she finds herself in. Anyone who enjoys reading suspense, action, intrigue, stories with a strong message or with strong female characters should definitely read Endurance. I certainly hope that author Gwen Sutton is hard at work on her next novel. She is certainly a new and powerful voice in this genre, and an author that I have added to my must-read list!

Rabia Tanveer

Endurance by Gwen Sutton is the story of a girl and her family’s quest of surviving child sex trafficking. Dereka Jones is a girl who is loved by all. She is happy in her life, she has very simple needs. She is happy to have her mother, grandmother and aunties in her life. She is the happiest girl you can find. However, her happiness is short-lived. An old enemy named Memphis swoops in, snatches her from her blissful world, and sells her into the depraved world of sex trafficking.

She is forced to endure the most horrendous and deplorable acts and there is no end to her suffering. Her family is trying their best to get her back, but Memphis is too strong and he evades all of their efforts. How can Dereka keep faith in good when so much bad is happening in her life? How can she keep her mind on getting out when there is no escape in sight?

Gwen Sutton is now my favorite writer. I don’t know the last time when a writer has moved me so much. She has the gift of words and storytelling. Sutton proved it once again that some people are just born with a natural talent that comes to them as easily as breathing. Endurance really stood true to its title. The novel was a little unreadable at times, not because it was written badly, but because it was too true and too real. But I could not stop myself, I had to read till the end and learn everything that happened to Dereka. Five stars and many, many more for Sutton’s great job!

Hilary Hawkes

Endurance by Gwen Sutton is an emotionally charged, and at times heart breaking story, of the horrors that befall thirteen-year-old Dereka when she is abducted and imprisoned as a child sex-slave. Her abduction is the depraved criminal Memphis' way of getting revenge on her aunt Kenya, whose actions sent his son to prison. Dereka’s close knit family turn to their faith in God to cope with their distress and the years that it takes before the whereabouts of the young girl is discovered. Aunt Jasmine gets involved in the brave work of police and FBI rescue teams that seek to find girls who fall victim to these gangs. But who can the family really trust, and will Dereka’s resilience, tenacity, and faith enable her to endure to the end?

The subject matter of this well-written book makes it a tough read that can move you to tears in places. Although a fictitious story, the unimaginable horrors and abuse suffered by Dereka, and the other children imprisoned with her, is a reflection of what really occurs at the hands of these depraved, cunning and inhumane gangs. However, throughout Endurance Gwen Sutton weaves her message of hope and faith as her characters cling to the belief that their God will bring them through the torture and evil. “But he who endures to the end shall be saved” is just one particular Bible verse that sustains the family. The characters are well-depicted and believable – from brave Dereka, her distraught but resourceful and determined family, to the evil Memphis.

The plot moves at a good pace and the theme of hope of rescue for the girls and for justice to be served on their perpetrators remains throughout. There are plenty of surprises and twists to the story too as the battle for good over evil plays itself out. A brave story about atrocities that shouldn’t happen. But also a story about resourcefulness, hope, courage, and one young girl’s belief in a faith that enables endurance.

Faridah Nassozi

In Endurance by Gwen Sutton, preparations were under way for what was going to be a fabulous thirteenth birthday party for Dereka Jones. All her favorite people were ready to celebrate with her and everyone was in a joyous mood. Unknown to them, however, were the plans of a long forgotten enemy that would bring total devastation to the family. On the eve of the birthday, an evil and cold-hearted criminal came to exert what he felt was long overdue revenge against the Jones family. The last thing Dereka remembered was picking up the cake with her mother and then she woke up in the trunk of a moving car. This marked the beginning of the end of life as she knew it as she was introduced to the dark world of human trafficking. For years Dereka was held captive and subjected to the most cruel acts of sexual slavery. With every new day, the horror that had become her life became darker, but her faith and hope never wavered. As Dereka endured the horrors, back home her loved ones dedicated their lives to tracking and rescuing her.

Although a work of fiction, Endurance by Gwen Sutton accurately portrays the horrifying reality that countless girls around the world face as sex slaves. My heart weeps for all the children that are forced into this nightmare. The ordeal these little angels endure is heart wrenching and sickening. This book reaffirms the need for the world to come together in the fight against human trafficking, for no child should ever have to go through what Dereka went through. Gwen Sutton delivers this message in a very compelling way. Endurance also emphasizes the very important role faith in God and the love and support of family and friends play in the victim's recovery process. I was profoundly moved by how the Jones family and friends stayed firm in their belief and faith in God, even in the darkest moments when all hope seemed to be lost.