by Dee Henderson
So, I was just writing a review for the last book in this series (The Protector) when I realized that I had somehow never reviewed The Healer?!? Which is a shame, because it is a really good one. So. We will fix that now. :-D
This is one of the O’Malley books, and focuses on the story of Rachel. She works for the Red Cross as a trauma psychologist, traveling to areas that have had some kind of disaster, and working with the people there to overcome their stress and terror. It involves lots of talking, lots of hugs, and recognizing that we, as humans, cling to things that are simple and small when our lives are spiraling out of control. Rachel is excellent at giving people back a semblance of normalcy. More, she doesn’t just abandon people after the initial difficulty has been overcome–she frequently hands out personalized business cards so that people with whom she has spoken can contact her later if they are struggling with returning to normal life.
Rachel is the O’Malley that I admire the most, honestly. She is calm and steady, the kind of person you automatically turn to in a time of need.
We first met Rachel in-depth in the book prior to this one, The Protector. While that book focused on her brother Jack, Rachel’s story was also a large part of it. Between that book and this one, Rachel has also become a Christian, so this book, rather than focusing on her journey to Christ, focuses more on the struggles of a brand-new Christian–learning to roll trouble and confusion onto His shoulders, and to lean on Him when the way becomes rough.
I have to say, one thing that I really, really, really love about these books is the way that they value friendship. The O’Malleys are a group of adults who have basically pledged to be life-long friends. They have legally adopted one another by changing their names, and they choose to stay together and support one another. And even as they are all getting married and such, those new spouses are brought into the family as well–true friends, accepted, loved, protected, challenged. The friendships exhibited in these books are beautiful to me.
Throughout this book, Jennifer, the sister with cancer, is getting sicker, and that is also part of Rachel’s struggle–trying to understand prayer, healing (or the lack thereof) and how this all works. The conversations are real and gritty, and I personally fell in love with Rachel’s love interest, Cole. Such a good man.
Anyway, these books are great; I love them. The mysteries are decent, the characters good, the conversations excellent. If all Christian fiction was like this, I would be a much happier woman.