Anticipation of the Penitent

Nancy LaRonda

Anticipation of the Penitent is literary Christian fiction about Alezea, whose son is a serial killer, supposedly the result of her unholy relationship with the Devil.  Tormented with guilt from helping her son Thomas bury his young victims, Alezea feels unclean from the Devil’s assaults, believing he has claimed her heart and soul.  She is led to the community Gabriel, where she receives loving guidance from Christians and realizes her worth for the first time.  Thomas however refuses to embrace Christ, convinced his father predetermined his life. Although Thomas knows nothing but a life of killing for pleasure and in service to his father, he longs for a family of his own. When he meets his first cousin, Rachel, he sees a chance at love.  Is everyone capable of redemption, no matter what they have done?

 While the idea of redemption is a powerful literary theme that can draw readers into a story, it failed to make this a successful novel. The use of scripture and Christian thought was one of the better parts of this book. However, the characters’ actions and motivations seemed contrived and insensible.  They felt insincere, merely a way to drive home the underlying message, instead of seamless integration into a readable story. What could have been moving invoked frustration and disgust at Thomas’ heinous acts.  Because of a lack of empathetic characters and a story that is not genuine, plus the disturbing subject matter, this book is not recommended.

Danielle Hill