To be perfectly fair, the fantasy genre is not my expertise, just so you know as you read my thoughts on this book.
Susan is stuck and depressed. She can't take one more argument between her kids. Her husband, Mark, decides to build her a getaway in the attic--a space where no one but her is allowed, where she can journal and pray and read to her heart's delight. But God had a different getaway in mind. Falling through a portal, she comes upon a nation threatened by war on the outside and by forgetting their identity on the inside. She learns that God sent her as their Restorer.
It's entertaining, and it has a good message. She does a good job with setting and descriptions and an excellent job with characterization. I knew these characters. The book also motivated me to memorize Scripture. We used to do this as kids, but at some point, it stopped seeming important. After all, I have 3,258 Bibles in my house. I can look anything up. Why memorize? But Sharon depicted both the power of lies to poison our thinking and lives and the power of Scripture to combat those lies.
For mothers out there struggling with their purpose now that their lives are consumed with laundry and dishes and snotty noses, this book that God has work for each one of us, including mothers, work for His kingdom. Susan finds out that her identity isn't wrapped up in her kids.
I liked it. I liked that the main character in the fantasy is a woman. To be honest, though, it felt more like an allegory than a true fantasy. More like Hinds Feet on High Places. Almost a long parable. A lot of one-to-one corollations. Lies poison the mind with physical devastation. The nation represent Israel (people that follow the Verses; they even have 2 lost tribes, sorry, clans). It was more like an Hans Christian Anderson story with a morality at the end than a Grimm's Fairy Tale. This is not a bad thing. It has its own power. Like I said, I found it both entertaining and it challenged me to memorize Scripture again. I just tend to prefer non-allegorical books.