Meissner begins this pleasant debut novel with an intriguing idea. Her lead character, Claire Holland, is remembering the first time God spoke to her audibly. That memory carries Claire through a difficult trial which would dismantle some women. After being raped, she discovers she is pregnant. She wrestles with her emotions, her family’s fears, her husband’s denial, and cutting away the past while holding onto it. In the years the follow, Claire and her small Minnesota family learn to trust God whole-heartedly because of who he is alone.
Meissner has a journalism background, and that reporting-feel delivers this quiet story. As I read, I wanted it to overcome the current obstacle in order to stumble on a new one. I don’t mind slow-moving plots, but slow-moving, straight-foward plots are dull to me. If the characters or prose was more complicated, I would have been more interested.
But I must praise the theme. Why is the sky blue? Claire’s mother explains: “I knew that sometimes God’s reasons for doing things or not doing things are as deep as His character,” she says. “Being supplied with a reason when maybe I wouldn’t have been able to understand it might have made it worse for me. . . . Sometimes asking God for a reason for something is like asking Him why the sky is blue. There is a complex scientific reason for it, Claire, but most children, including you, are content with knowing it is blue because it is.”