From that time on, the world was hers for the reading....

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Sara Zarr: Once Was Lost

I'm smack dab in the middle of a gigantic crisis of faith, so I felt it was kismet that a local library, which never has new books the week of their release (or even the month of their release for that matter), had Once Was Lost by Sara Zarr. I was the first person to check it out, reveling in the shiny-newness of the book and taking in that great new book smell!

In Zarr's third novel, Samara Taylor (Sam) is questioning everything she's always believed.

Her father, a pastor, is more interested in taking care of his congregation than his own daughter and wife.

Her mom is in rehab for alcoholism.

Then, the kidnapping of thirteen-year-old Jody Shaw not only devastates the small community of Pineville, but rocks Sam's world to the core.

How can God--if He even exists--let such bad things happen to good people?

Once Was Lost effortlessly transitions from Sam's heartfelt narrative and late-breaking news updates on the investigation into Jody's disappearance, keeping the reader interested and emotionally involved in the characters' lives.

What I liked most about this book was the very realistic look at how our faith can falter without making us bad people. So often, when you question God and your beliefs you're considered an atheist. That's really not the case at all. Questioning your faith and your place in this world is natural, and I appreciate Zarr's honest exploration of this topic.

Once again, she has written an intense, enthralling story, exposing human weakness, raw emotion, and truth. Not only do I wish I could write rich, interesting characters like Zarr does, I wish every author could.

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