Intense, Threatening and Thought-Provoking
When I chose to read review Persecuted: I Will Not Be Silent by Robin Parrish, I was intrigued about religious freedom and the implications of its demise in the United States. Parrish’s Persecuted plot was much more intense and threatening than I anticipated so I was quite surprised.
Despite the unexpected intensity of the novel, it was a page turner. I finished Persecuted in short order. I was impressed by the strong character of John Luther and his desire for right to prevail against all odds. And yet, Parrish made his character John and John’s father Charles approachable and so human as they struggle to find their way.
The short chapters and the constant switching between the present and the past effectively created a complete picture of John Luther, his mistakes, and his transformation to support religious freedom under different levels of duress.
While the present story line of Persecuted focuses on John Luther’s survival and attempts to vindicate himself and return to his family, Parrish subtly impresses us with the insidious nature of people who not only oppose religious autonomy but who make it a life time pursuit to take the right to freely believe and act according to our beliefs away from us. That was a sobering but highly relevant theme throughout this story.
The character of Ryan was too intense for me, but as the novel’s action played out, Ryan because a perfect archetype of people who believe in religious freedom, but who can be weakened to succumb to political or economic pressure for expediency and short-term security.
The “Questions for Conversation” following the novel present some sobering ideas to contemplate about where we stand regarding religious freedom. Overall, if you can handle intense action, Persecuted will enthrall you while making you think about how much religious freedom should matter to you. Bethany House Publishing sent me a complimentary copy of Persecuted to review.