Warning: Read The Shunning before attempting to read this review as this review contains several spoilers!
After reading Beverley Lewis’ The Shunning, I knew that, at some stage, I wanted to continue reading the story of Katie Lapp. I was dying to know whether Katie ever found her mother before she died, whether Katie’s friend, Mary, married the Bishop and I really wanted to know what happened now someone knew that Katie’s lost love, Dan Fisher, was actually alive. I was so eager to know what happens next. So, in spite of the fact that Beverley Lewis has become such a popular author that our local Christian bookshop no longer has need to ever mark down prices to shift their stock, I decided to splash out and buy The Confession (another movie tie-in version) to appease my unabated curiosity. The story is an interesting one:
After finding out she’s an adopted child and being shunned from the Hickory Hollow Amish Community for disobeying the Bishop, Katie Lapp – now calling herself Katherine Mayfield – goes on a quest to find her birth mother before it’s too late. While Katie’s leaving her old life behind, the community of Hickory Hollow are struggling to come to terms with Katie’s shunning. Katie’s old boyfriend, Dan Fisher, whom everyone believes is dead is also trying to reconcile the past. But, as everyone tries their best to deal with their situations at hand, a number of obstacles present themselves. Will they all be able to overcome their hardships and move forward or will their hardships overcome them? And what of Katie? Is she destined to find her birth mother before it’s too late?
So, I haven’t seen the movie version of The Confession yet as it seems to be not so readily available in my area. I’ve managed to catch glimpses of the story through the photographs in the centre of the book and some film clips, Still, just as with The Shunning, I’m keen to see what the directors have made of this next story in the series. I just hope that they have managed to keep the very essence of the story, the suspense that drives the story. I’m also keen to see if the actor who plays Mr Dylan Bennett, Adrian Paul (of absolutely nothing I have seen), makes me want to sack, punch and tackle him as much as the Dylan Bennett of the book did because honestly I wanted to strangle him. I’m just a little disappointed that the original actors were not used in the second film because I like a little continuity. Still, I hope the new actress Katie Leclerc (again of absolutely nothing I have seen – but how do you like the name connection)
In My Humble Opinion:
So, here’s a little confession of my own: I read this book in TWO DAYS! Yes, only two days (though if you’re a real stickler for time it probably only took me a few hours with necessary breaks for eating, sleeping etc in between). I had bought the book a few weeks earlier but I wanted to reread The Shunning just so I knew what had happened before I jumped in to the second book. On Sunday morning, I picked up the book and by Monday morning, I had finished the book completely (including stopping to look at all the photographs in the middle).
The Confession is what I would truly call a page-turner. I could not help but tell myself “I’ll read just this one last chapter, just this one last section.” And then before I knew it, I’d read another six chapters. And if at any stage I had to stop reading, I found myself wanting desperately to go back and read on, to know what happened next. This I believe is because not only is the pulsing question, “will Katie – Katherine- ever get to meet her birth mother as her long-lost child?” ever present in the mind but also because the book contains three or four parallel stories and switches between them sometimes telling Katie – or Katherine’s – story; sometimes that of the Lapps and Katie’s best friend, Mary; sometimes that of Dan Fisher and; sometimes that of Katherine’s mother, Laura. It’s just as you get to an interesting part of one story that the story changes perspective, leaving you to push forward in the hopes of learning what happens next. As a writer, I applaud Beverley Lewis for this amazing technique for creating suspense. As a reader, I hate her for it (ok not hate in that strong sense, but it was a bit annoying from a reading perspective).
The Confession filled me with a multiplicity of emotions: anger (towards Dylan Bennett), anxiety (for Katie), fear (that Katie may be too late), frustration (at wanting the situation to be resolved), and sadness (when there were sad parts 😉 ). It was just one of the most riveting books I’ve read in such a long time.
There is one thing I do want to mention before closing (without going into too much detail or giving spoilers) and that is, as I finished The Shunning and picked up The Confession, I wondered about the title and its meaning. After all, The Shunning posed the question of whether Katie would confess and turn from her sin in order to lift the imminent shunning. But, let me warn you not to read too much into the title before reading the book. You may be a little disappointed. But, have a think again after reading and you will probably get the idea behind the title.
I guarantee that this book will leave you with the same desire just to keep reading, to keep learning. And by the way, now I’m dying to read the third book in the series. I just hope I get to soon.