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Tessa loathes being forced to work in her father's illegal drug business. Yet her ill-fated attempts at running away only deepen the abuse. Guilt and shame press in, pushing away her real friends and reinforcing her own criminal tendencies.
Tessa yearns for freedom - and something else. Then a neighbor introduces her to God and salvation through Christ. But will faith be enough? Can she overcome the forces that bind her before it's too late?
My take on this book:
Tessa Miner lives in fear but also in shame. Her dad Walter forces her to help him cook Meth, and her mother Julie seems to turn a blind eye to what is going on. So Tessa runs away whenever she can, but she is always returned home,this time she is caught and Walter almost beats her to death! When her forces her once again to cook drugs she almost dies this seems to soften her mother just a bit and she decides that if Tessa goes back to school then perhaps Walter might leave her alone. Tessa is befriended by Heather who is spending the year with her grandparents just a few houses down the road, while her parents are on a missionary trip. While Heather talks to Tessa about God's love Tessa isn't sure. When things at home escalate to the breaking point the only place Tessa knows to go is to Heather's grandparents house. There she is shown compassion and care, and comes to realize that God does love her, but can that love sustain her when things at home continue to get worse?
I picked up "Tessa" intending to read a few pages and found that I couldn't put the book down. Tessa's character was so compelling, the hurt loneliness and fear she felt was so real, it made my heart break for her, and also had me wanting her to find her way to God, but also an ally that she could confide in. Another emotion she felt was shame she carried the shame of what she was forced to do, and feared that her classmates would find out. While I wanted to hate her parents and for a while I really did, the author allowed me to understand why they had become the people they were.I found the storyline that involved Sarah and Megan added a bit of mystery to the plot, and I would have liked to have seen it developed a bit more. The Erikson's were such wonderful characters, God's love really showed thru their actions. There were a few animals in the story that made it even more interesting for me. There was Genevieve the mouse, Sadie the collie and Nikki the cat. The emotional journey that "Tessa" took me on was enlightening and also uplifting and inspiring. We see dysfunction at its best but we also see how God's love can change even the hardest of people.
A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review.