Widows & Orphans is a library check-out that could fit in more than one section of the library. I found it in Mystery but the Christian section would be appropriate as well. Perhaps the subject matter determined the book’s placement. Susan Meissner penned this book almost twenty years ago. The last of the three-book series was released in 2007.
Rachel Flynn Series
As the first book in the series, Widows & Orphans introduces N.Y.C. lawyer Rachel Flynn with a phone call from her distraught mother in Minnesota. Joshua Harper, brother and son respectively, has confessed to murder. Quickly, Rachel, husband Trace and newborn daughter McKenna load up and fly to Minneapolis.
An interesting group of friends as well as family members make up the bulk of the characters. Additionally, law enforcement and the judicial system are represented. Finally, the confessed murderer and those he seeks to protect grace the pages.
Meissner created a superb mix of characters from the avant-garde mix of artists-friends of Trace to the ordinary parents of an offspring who is different. And then there is the relationship of the siblings. The relationships shore up the plot.
Plot of Widows & Orphans
It is always difficult to surprise the reader when a murder confession begins the story line. For this reader, the plot took a back seat to the characters themselves. Rachel Flynn determinedly searches for the truth and finds it.
The subject matter is difficult. Child trafficking has popped up in other Christian fiction I have read and even when physical details of the violence against the girls are omitted, the crime is abhorrent. So much so that a man devoting his life to God’s word can violate the commandments handed down. Thus, the plot of Widows & Orphans is so very plausible.
The genre of Christian fiction is vast. Romance, Cozy Mysteries, and novels such as this one all have their place. In Widows & Orphans the writer keys in on a specific Bible passage, James 1:27. Meissner does an excellent job weaving an exploration of the meaning of this passage throughout the novel. She doesn’t preach, she delves. I plan to read the next in the series soon. Look for Widows & Orphans in your library or online.