Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Erin Healy's Afloat ~ Reviewed

By Erin Healy
Published by Thomas Nelson
356 Pages

Back Cover: 

Dark waters are rising. Who will stay afloat?

Architect Vance Nolan has crafted a marvel—shining apartments floating in the peaceful cove of a winding river. The project is partially occupied and about to make investors rich when a sinkhole gives way.

Torrential rains quickly flood the cove, leaving a handful of builders, investors, and residents cut off from the rest of the world.

The motley group is bitterly divided over how to survive.
Vance insists they wait for rescue. Developer Tony Dean wants to strike out into the darkness. And single-mom Danielle Clement, obligated to each man and desperate to protect her young son, Simeon, isn’t sure which one is wiser.

Power failure, an unnatural daytime darkness, explosions, and a murder expose hidden intentions and dark histories. 

Then Simeon spots something strange underwater—beautiful, shifting lights in the dark depths.

In this watery world, everyone’s secrets will eventually come to light. And deliverance may mean more than just getting out alive.


I’m thankful for the review copy of a suspenseful tale that had my full attention as I turned the pages until the wee hours of the night. This is a fast-paced, heart-felt story I had a hard time putting down. This author does a great job of meshing mystery, suspense and faith together with characters I instantly cared for!

I like how this author talks about how people respond in a tragedy. Just watching the show survivor gives viewers a peek into how the human spirit is diverse and how each of us go through the same circumstance differently.

Pete says to Vance and his Dad, “You’d think that in this day and age meteorologists would be smarter.”

“They’re not the problem,” Dad said, “the real stinker is that in this day and age we think we know more than we really do. It doesn’t hurt to be reminded now and then how little we actually control.”

Vance recalls this conversation with his brother and Dad years ago. It applied to him today as he faced the storm. Vance is the manager of this project. He knew better than anyone the layout of the buildings and how things were built. He seeks advice from his friend, Zeke. “How do I know the right thing to do?”

“The same way you have always known. You ask God. You wait. You listen for the wisdom that drowns out fear and brings peace to your heart. I think you’ve already done all this, haven’t you?” Zeke continues after he sees Vance nod, “So for now at least, you know you’re doing what you must do.”

“Is it enough?” Vance replies.

“Is it enough? That’s the question of a man who thinks that waiting is the weaker activity. But patience requires the strength of Hercules.” I’ll Amen that! I like how this author naturally weaves the spiritual thread into this novel.

This book is unlike all the disaster movies that have been out lately because of the spiritual element she brings out in the story. I also liked how this author described water as these characters are facing a flood. “In the Bible, rain could bring a destructive flood or a fall-on-you-knees relief after seven years of drought. Water could drown an enemy horde or heal a man’s leprosy. It could be turned into blood; it could be turned to wine. It harbored death and it delivered life.”

People are seeking refuge in building 12, the only completed building in this project. Each was hoping to survive as they watched the tragedy around them play out. They pondered their next move as the rains are hammering down on the building.

Single mom, Danielle Clement’s listens to her young son, Simeon tell her about the angels he saw when he was under water; before they reached a dry surface and what they said to him. Tony Dean, developer of this project and close friend of his mom don’t believe the boy. They think he’s a kid with a great imagination. What does he know about angels? But Vance and his friend Zeke’s spirits are encouraged and believe what Simeon is telling them and ask some questions.

How do people respond in the middle of a tragedy? Let me count the ways. Things get more stressful and emotional as each person’s security is threatened and/or stripped away from them all together. Each member of this small group tries to come up with a plan to combat these uncontrollable events. Through all this the author gives a peek at how God works in mysterious ways and how He’s ways are definitely not ours. “God might not reveal himself to each of us equally, or even in similar ways.”

Some people don’t take the time to stop and listen to that still small voice but plunge ahead trying to save themselves with little regard to the people around them. Some turn to God for the very first time. God uses all things in our lives for his Glory and our good if we let Him.

This book gives a peek into the supernatural powers at work around us. It also reminds us of our eternal hope in Jesus no matter what circumstances we find ourselves in. I highly recommend this novel as a book club pick; there is so much in here to talk about. It’s also a great fun and thought provoking summer read.

Reviewed by: Nora St.Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins!

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