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5 Stars Out Of 5
What's in a name?
March 24, 2011
"'Merritt' is a good English name. From the Old English, I believe, meaning 'boundary gate.'" So goes Eddie Mitchell's initial assessment of Anna Merritt, an American student newly arrived in Oxford. And Anna lives up to her name, as if her purpose had been encoded into her DNA. It is such telling detail that Ruth Crews weaves so masterfully into this her first novel.
This is a fine book, mature in its writing and thought, with sharp dialog, delightful and interesting characters, a keen eye and ear for place. Please allow Ms Crews to lead you through the streets and buildings and sometimes darker places of Oxford and Europe. She is a terrific guide.
Ms. Crews debuts with a fascinating tale of a southern American girl thrown into the cultural discrepancies of studying abroad in Oxford. Her use of description brings the setting to life and allows the reader to walk through the text right along the streets of England with her. The characters are portrayed with such vibrant language that you know you've seen or met him or her before!
The plot unfolds in a tale of mystery, the pace quickens as our heroine is thrust into an adventure where she alone can right the wrong. Don't understand? "Ask the Gatekeeper"!
This is a beautiful story with adventure, mystery, real, honest friendships, and underlying truths about our lives in Christ. The characters are well-developed and true - they do not always do what a "character" should, but respond as real, flesh-and-blood human beings do. Crews subtly touches upon the truths of God's calling and our greater purpose without being heavy-handed. It is a wonderful first novel, and I will be thrilled to read the subsequent two books in the trilogy.