Very good moral lesson that everyone should watch what they say about other people thrown in with a mystery as to who is revealing private conversations and a little drama makes up the story of a sleepy little town called Marlo.
I absolutely loved this book. The story line was so different from anything I have read before. It shows how important it is to be careful of what we say about others. There was a mystery involved and I didn't work out the person until the end and by then it had become obvious. It was so well written, and I couldn't put it down. a truly great book, I recommend this book to everyone.
"Listen" is a book that has a premise that I have never read before. I loved the moral lesson, that just words have impact. This book really got me to thinking about all the times that something I've said has come back to haunt me and it reminded me to think before I speak. Even when we are alone, God hears our words. I think this book was written partially to remind us that a lot of times we are careless with our words.
As for the book itself, I really enjoyed it. I thought the plot moved along well and the characters themselves were interesting. Listen had a big impact on me and those are the types of books that I truly enjoy the most.
"Listen" is a Christian thriller (though the deadly disease is cruel words and the effects are confined to one town). I decided to call this a thriller because it started with a teen girl committing suicide solely because she overheard some friends criticizing her clothing and hair, and then it moved on to a cat being killed by hanging outside a pastor's house (and who did this and why is never explained), and it kept on going from one extremely violent reaction to another. For some reason, most people in this town reacted with criminal behavior when they read a posted conversation that might possibly be about them and they weren't held back by not knowing for sure who said the words.
In thrillers, it's more common for characters to act "larger than life" without their motives really being explored. That was true with this story, though once or twice we got a glimmer of why the characters acted they way they did. This works alright for action stories, but I got the feeling that the author was trying to impress on the readers the danger of hurtful words, even those spoken in private. Yet this "larger than life" style of writing left me feeling like people wouldn't really act that way, which took away from the intended impact.
This was even more so because many of the characters didn't seem very realistic. For example, the pastor is perfect--no matter what wrong was done to him, he acted lovingly and quoted Scripture about the danger of words. And I wasn't comfortable with how the main characters' justified one man stalking his ex-wife as proof of his great love for her and she should stop complaining about such a great guy.
Beyond the repeated Scripture quotes about taming the tongue, you wouldn't know this was a Christian novel until near the end. Then a fellow who was a nominal Christian at best suddenly started thinking profound theological thoughts. His wife's later response to a "let's pray" was a more realistic and interesting "Why would God listen to me? or any of us? Look what this town has become."
There was a minor amount of "he cussed" style language and a very minor amount of explicit bad language. There were no sex scenes (though affairs were referred to).