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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
Save Your Prayers: True Stories From A Nation Held Hostage is a work of intense historical fiction based on real experiences and was penned by author Jules Heartly. Literary and poignant in its quality and message, this heartfelt work explores the nature of those who are left behind in times of violence and tragedy, and the lengths they must go to in order to rebuild some semblance of a balanced life for themselves and their families. When Myla’s husband Luis is whisked away by guerrillas in Colombia in 1999, so begins her journey to set him free, whilst also providing for their children and keeping herself alive in a tense and brutal time where violence lurks around every corner.
Based on the real-life kidnapping that took place at La Maria church in 1999, this well-considered and powerfully emotive tale ticks all the boxes for both fictional entertainment and harrowing true-life drama. The perspective that author Jules Heartly embeds within the novel is truly unique, turning the lens specifically to Myla and her experience as a relative, rather than the kidnapped Luis himself. This twist allows us into a far more relatable world of ordinary people trying to survive extraordinary circumstances, sharing in the well-penned and empathetic heartbreak that Myla faces in every day of her struggle. The plot is beautifully crafted to take us through her epic journey but also pauses to give us time to feel as she feels in the fraught atmosphere. Overall, I’d certainly recommend Save Your Prayers for factual historical fans and those who enjoy emotive literary drama.