Reviewed by Jennifer Bogart
No Greater Love by Kathi Macias
"Macias’ characters are real, complex, and breath with traits both noble and ignoble, regardless of which side of apartheid we find them on."
I can’t tell you how excited I was to learn of Kathi Macias’ new Christian fiction series Extreme Devotion from New Hope Publishers. The first two titles in this new series are actually New Hope’s flagship titles for their new fiction line, and if the first book in the series No Greater Love is anything to base expectations on for the rest of their fiction line, readers have great things in store for them!
No Greater Love takes us to apartheid South Africa in the year 1989 (slightly before Nelson Mandela was released from prison). Orphaned children of African National Congress (ANC) activists, Chioma and her brother Masozi now work on an Afrikaner family farm where they are treated with some degree of kindness. When tragedy strikes, and Masozi is killed in an act of random race-related violence, Andrew Vorster (the farm owner’s son) finds himself mysteriously drawn to the sad, angry girl
Their burgeoning innocent love has terrible consequences, and Chioma finds herself on the run, harbored by a violent rebel band intent on finding revenge for the wrongs done to their people. As God reaches out to her in the midst of her pain, she finds herself confronted with a difficult decision that holds life and death in the balance.
The Extreme Devotion series takes readers into the heart of Christian lives where difficult decisions are being made for Christ. In the face of persecution, oppression, and opposition, these believers walk with the Lord through these trying circumstances. Not only do we see this tension played out in the characters lives, but all sides of the story are so believable. Lest I give the impression that this is only a love story, sensitive readers should be aware that there are violent scenes of conflict realistically portrayed within the text – disturbing, yet based on historical facts.
It would be so easy for Macias
to have villainized some of the characters, but she never does; writing
with true integrity. I have read books dealing
with racial inequity that just make the slavers into demons, no in between
ground, but all of Macias’ characters are real, complex, and breath
with traits both noble and ignoble, regardless of which side of apartheid
we find them on. She in no way approves of apartheid, and presents it as
a travesty, but through her writing we can see each character her pen touches
as a soul in need of a saviour, and she leaves us with some hope
Jennifer Bogart is a child of God, wife and homeschooling mother of three young children (so far). She writes homeschooling resources with her husband at Bogart Family Resources, and reviews as a creative outlet. Passionately dedicated to promoting the work of Christian authors and artists, her blog Quiverfull Family features reviews, contests, family updates, homeschooling tidbits and well - a bit of everything.