Before we all became believers we all made mistakes in which we needed to find God in order to gain an understanding of who He is and about the forgiveness of sin. When we struggle in the darkness, it is hard for us to see what believers see so clearly. The hallmarks of a sin-filled life. They watch us struggle to come to terms with our sin, our anger, our pain and hurts before we find such a freedom and release in learning to hand all that over to God and find redemption and forgiveness in its place. Such is the case for Katy Thannen, an Austrian born sixteen-year-old who is struggling with just that very issue. While she has some basis for a faith in God, she becomes resentful when others point out what God is doing in their lives and how it can help her as well.
Growing up for Katy hasn't been easy. Her mother has worked hard to give Katy what she can, offering her schooling in a local convent but soon Katy realizes the value of hard work and obtains a job working for a wealthy family as a maid. There she finds herself the center of attention from the son of a wealthy Austrian bureaucrat, Alex Meissen, who sees nothing wrong with falling in love with Katy. That is, until he confesses his intentions and feelings to his parents which are met with less than expected results. They send Alex off to the small town Egg to gain a better understanding of the business world and in the hopes, he'll give up marrying Katy.
But like all great love stories, love is the greatest thing in life, and no matter the distance, Katy and Alex defy all the odds when they make a plan to leave Austria and head to America to leave their families behind. However since they remain distanced, Alex provides Katy the money and directions to meet him at the dock to board a ship bond for America, but they never find one another. Alex's train is derailed and since he can't get a message to Katy, she believes that Alex may have changed his mind and she heads to America without him. Now arriving in New York City alone, Katy realizes that a chance encounter with Alex has left her pregnant. She finds a place to stay with a local convent who helps immigrant women arriving in America find a job and a place to stay but once again Katy meets an unlikely adversary with another immigrant who finds her work in a laundry facility and offers to share rent in flat in town.
Through a series of truly unfortunate events, Katy makes a series of bad decisions which alter how she views Alex and her life in general. When Alex finds comfort in learning more of God's provision, Katy only rebels further away from him. It seems the closer Alex moves to God, the further Katy moves away and soon it will take a miracle of sorts to get Katy to view the circumstances in her life as something that can be redeemed no matter how great she believes they are. It may in fact take her to the brink of death before she can see what has been in front of her all along. But will she see it before it's too late?
I received No Turning Back by Joanne Wilson Meusburger compliments of Ambassador International Publishers for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions expressed are strictly my own. My first impression upon reading this book was I did not believe it to be a Christian novel at first based on the series of events that happen to both Alex and Katy and the decisions they make. But like all of us, we have all found ourselves like sheep being led astray til we discover the truth about life and how God can redeem and forgive us once we establish that relationship with Him. This is just what happens with Katy and Alex, it's the struggle between unbelievers finding hope and love in the midst of some of the most difficult situations life has to offer. We don't always make the right decisions, but in the end it enables us to be able to use those for the good of others and I think that is precisely the message the author provides in this novel. That nothing is too great to keep us separated from God. I give this novel a 4.5 out of 5 stars in my opinion.
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