Water Walker, Outlaw Chronicles Series #2
An excellent story. But also much, much more.
Life was just settling into normal. Alice was just beginning to understand what normal actually was. She had no memory of the beyond six months ago and had spent those months in an orphanage. Until John and Louise adopted her. Until they gave her a normal. Then the man showed up and shattered that illusion. Nothing would ever be normal.
Claiming to be her father, the man, Wyatt, kidnaps her and takes her deep into the Louisiana swamplands where he lives with his wife, Kathryn, and his mentally disabled son. AliceÃ¢ÂÂher real name is Eden, supposedlyÃ¢ÂÂwas taken from Kathryn as a baby because AliceÃ¢ÂÂs birth father was a powerful politician who didnÃ¢ÂÂt want to acknowledge an affair. Now Wyatt was appeasing his wife and restoring his family.
But AliceÃ¢ÂÂEdenÃ¢ÂÂsoon discovers that things are amiss in her new householdÃ¢ÂÂ¦and thereÃ¢ÂÂs absolutely no escape from it. Until she meets Outlaw.
As always, the story is nail-biting and page-turning. Dekker has a way of presenting readers with his charactersÃ¢ÂÂ shoes and coaxing us into them. Just use her eyes for a moment will you? You feel the characters and hurt with them. You begin to understand their motivations and desires and longings. ThatÃ¢ÂÂs important for a novel like this, because DekkerÃ¢ÂÂs ultimate goal is transference. Do you have eyes to see? Place a character over here, connect with her, draw her extreme situation into your reality. You get sucked in not just because the story is good but because you are invested in the character because, in a way, youÃ¢ÂÂve become the character.
DekkerÃ¢ÂÂs overall theme hereÃ¢ÂÂone that he makes no effort to concealÃ¢ÂÂis that of forgiveness. It would give away too much of the plot to tell specifics, so let me concentrate on the theme. Dekker speaks of forgiveness in a way that few ever do. And thatÃ¢ÂÂs a tragedy, because heÃ¢ÂÂs one of the few thatÃ¢ÂÂs got it right. Forgiveness requires sacrifice. To forgive a debt is to absorb the loss, to sacrifice. Why did it take JesusÃ¢ÂÂ death to forgive sin? Because the debt had to be paid, the penalty had to be absorbed, and the one who forgives is the one who must sacrifice. ItÃ¢ÂÂs a radical concept, but Dekker takes it a step further. Forgiving like that, forgiving like Jesus, thatÃ¢ÂÂs the most freeing thing we can do.
There are two types of novels. The first are amusements just for a time: beach reads, throwaway thrillers, formulaic mysteries. They might sell millions of copies and make lots of money and have lots of fans and be turned into movies, but in reality they suck. Not in terms of story, but in terms of time. They suck your life away. You lost two hours, four hours, six hours reading that and youÃ¢ÂÂre nothing better for it. ThatÃ¢ÂÂs not this novel. Water Walker is the second type of novel, the kind of novel that changes people. Superficially, all can be just about the same. The story is still there, fast-paced and thrilling, but thereÃ¢ÂÂs a depth to it that makes you think. ItÃ¢ÂÂs the kind of novel that leaves you thinking as you try to fall asleep at night, the kind of novel that breathes life into you and will change you, if you let it. Water Walker is an excellent story. But itÃ¢ÂÂs also more.
February 18, 2014