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Book Review: Facing Redemption by Kimberly McKay

In her first book Finding Kylie , author Kimberly McKay introduced us to 25-year old Chastity Wayne, who, after laying her mother Kylie to rest found out about a terrible secret that she had been hiding from Chastity, all of her life. The secret was that the father she had been told was dead, was not only alive, but through the rape of her mother, was responsible for her very existence.

Her father’s family was a very powerful family in a large mid-South city, and her grandfather paid Kylie off to keep this rape quiet. So Kylie left town to have Chastity. The father–John Mikale, upon finding out about the birth, tried to locate Kylie and his daughter. This in turn forced Kylie to be both on the lookout as well as on the run for much of Chastity’s lifetime.

In Finding Kylie, Chastity was able sort through her past, come to terms with the fact that when she was growing up they were not only poor, but constantly on the move. She began to understand why her mother did the things that she did to keep her safe and she even began to accept part of the Mikale family as her own. She also found her true love through the subtle intervention of her mother prior to her death.

Now, in Facing Redemption, John Mikale, now married with a new child on the way, is haunted by his past even though he has done everything he can to become a better person. He hopes that by doing the right things, he will be able to find some sort of acceptance from Chastity and begin to heal his inner soul as well as the wounds his past actions have caused.

Chastity has settled things with her mother’s death and is ready to start a new life with both her career in art and her love Timothy. Passed on to her by her father’s brother, Chastity begins to read letters from her father in which he tries to explain his actions from his own point of view. This brings on a new world of emotion and now she must relive a past from another perspective–one that mirrors her own in being on the outside and running from situations.

Even though he has made this attempt to communicate with Chastity, John’s brother, who has become a surrogate father to Chastity wants him to keep his distance until she is ready. While the stress of being so close and yet so far is building, he tries to do the right thing, but with her upcoming wedding day he still keeps trying. Will he be able to endure the nightmares and problems with the birth of his new child–Chastity’s sister?

Chastity has had to deal with of the fears she has had about her father and things she learned from her mom’s diary. On one level she understands that he has changed but other influential third parties–like her fraternal grandfather, who, with best intentions, placed John in bad situations–made decisions for him that did not place him in the best light. She has been able to successfully come to terms with some of her new found family just by getting to know them and that has allowed her tremendous support. So now can she listen to his words before condemning him completely?

I came to read Finding Kylie indirectly through a friend. Although that book–to me–had some technical problems, the writing, the wonderful characters, and storytelling brought me back to read Facing Redemption. I am pleased to say that this book has none of the technical problems, yet retains all of the wonderful writing, characters, and compelling storyline to make it another great story. Facing Redemption can be read as a standalone story, but I can also recommend Finding Kylie as well.

About T. Michael Testi

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