(Faith Under Fire Trilogy, Book 3)

Christian - Thriller
276 Pages
Reviewed on 03/08/2017
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 Ruffina Oserio for Readers' Favorite

Restored by Gwen Sutton is a wonderful crime thriller that explores the extent to which sex trafficking can affect individuals and their families, a final entry in a gripping trilogy revolving around a single family. When child sex trafficking victim, Dereka Jones, decides to stop attending therapy, it is to the surprise of her family members, but for her, it is the only way to face life and win back her freedom. However, what follows isn’t freedom but paranoid schizophrenia, which escalates into an act that will risk the life of her entire family. On the other side, holed up in prison, an old family enemy languishes, nurturing the desire for revenge. He has a name no one wants to remember: Memphis. Restored is a brilliant story of faith, of suffering, and of healing, a story that espouses the virtues of humanity and its curses, and unveils the compassionate face of God.

I enjoyed the style in which Restored is written. The author uses journaling to penetrate the innermost thoughts of the protagonist and, right off the bat, the reader is already introduced to the psychological conflict that will be developed throughout the story. I also enjoyed how the characters evolved. Gwen Sutton writes with gracious limpidity, employing quick descriptions that allow the reader to feel the emotions that the characters feel. The plot is well-paced and it is construed with a powerful twist, so readers can’t help but ask questions, wanting to guess what the next big thing will be. Combining suspense and drama, Sutton creates a work that will undoubtedly entertain readers.

Lisa McCombs

Kenya Jones believes that life is finally settling into a happy place with her niece Dereka and her best friend, Jasmine. The individual pasts of these ladies tends to indicate anything but good things, but Kenya believes differently. “This far by faith, Lord. This far by faith,” is her mantra. When Dereka stops taking her medications and refuses to continue counselling, Kenya is forced to face the fact that her niece’s horrible history as a victim of the atrocities of being a sex slave requires more than a few psychiatric sessions. Dereka becomes increasingly paranoid, believing that spies are plaguing every avenue of her life and that “they” mark her every move. As Kenya fights for her niece, elements of that dark past materialize in an attempt to end the Jones family, thus erasing any involvement in righting the wrongs done to these women.

Restored by Gwen Sutton is the final installment in an inspiring trilogy about the Jones family's triumphs and tragedies. Highlighting the atrocities of human sex trafficking, Sutton brings the reader as close as possible to this sadly realistic theme. Mental illness is a common, yet frightening, outcome. While Dereka attempts to heal, her psyche is overcome with forces too powerful for the human mind to ward off on its own. I applaud Gwen Sutton for her faith fought journey into mental illness associated with an inhuman practice that is not actively publicized in America. A convincing combination of faith inspired narrative and convincing storytelling, Restored is a must-read.

Chris Fischer

In an emotionally gripping new work of Christian fiction by author Gwen Sutton, Restored is a book that many readers will find difficult to put down once they've begun it. Follow the story of Dereka Jones, a former child sex trafficking victim, as she makes the decision to stop therapy and taking her medication, convinced that neither of these is helping her to deal with the terrible mental turmoil her past has brought upon her. Instead of making things better, however, things get much worse. Mental illness in the form of paranoid schizophrenia develops and not even those who love her best seem able to help. When Dereka does something that could have harmed others and herself, her family must make a difficult decision about her future. At the same time, an evil man with a grudge against the family, Memphis, incarcerated but still holding power, is working to make their lives even more difficult. Will the family's strong faith in God help them through their time of need?You'll need to read the book to find out!

I very much enjoyed Restored. Author Gwen Sutton has done a great job in creating characters that her readers will connect with, relate to, and truly come to care about. If that isn't a hallmark of a great author, I'm not sure what is. This story is emotional and uplifting, and any reader who enjoys a great work of fiction with a Christian message would definitely enjoy it. I am pleased to be able to recommend Restored and look forward to reading more from author Gwen Sutton in the future!

Romuald Dzemo

“Sometimes I wonder if I’m losing my mind. Or if I’ve already lost it.” These are words used by Dereka Jones to describe the psychological conflict and her predicament. She’s suffered as a sex trafficking victim and has been under medication and the constant assistance of a therapist. She has faced a lot of emotional and psychological challenges, but things spiral out of control when she stops her medication and therapy. She commits an act that will put herself and her entire family at serious risk. Meanwhile, a convict living behind bars, a man called Memphis, can’t stop imagining a new form of revenge; he’s been this family’s nightmare for years. Restored by Gwen Sutton explores the question of mental health and how it affects the life of a family. It’s a story of hope, redemption, and healing.

I got hooked from the very first page of this story. The author uses journaling to lead readers into the mind of the protagonist, exploring the psychological conflict within the protagonist and questions that are answered in this story. The protagonist catches the attention of the reader immediately and the reader wants to see how she develops. The writing is great, well-edited, and laced with vivid descriptions that allow the reader to get clear images of what takes place in the story. The plot is not too complex, but it is well-paced, embellished with powerful scenes that are emotionally charged. In fact, this is a character-driven story. It will be hard to read Restored without getting emotionally involved and connected with the protagonist. Gwen Sutton’s graceful writing and her masterful treatment of themes of sanity, brotherhood, love and family are elements that carry her message efficiently to the reader. This is one of those books to read and share.