aka The Frazzled Mom
By Felicia Bridges
Peter, the oldest of seven children born to missionaries in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, resents the idea of leaving the only home he’s known to go to college in the States. His parents insist he needs to leave the shelter of the familiar in order to discover a real and vibrant faith of his own.
When he stumbles on evidence of a murder and reports it to the police, he launches his family and his best friend, Kasey, into a world of drug smuggling and human trafficking which threatens the lives of everyone he loves.
Peter’s temper lands eighteen-year-old Kasey in the hospital where they meet Esperanza, a sixteen-year-old victim of Hector, the same villain who threatens Peter and his family. The stakes are higher than ever. Esperanza is desperate to escape not only the vicious traffickers but her own dependence on the drugs they used to control her.
Peter confronts his own darkest emotions and the consequences of his choices.
He must decide between defeating the cartel through powers darker than Hector himself or trusting God to provide victory through the love of Christ.
Human trafficking, the trade of humans for forced labor, sexual slavery and commercial sexual exploitation (child prostitution and/or pornography).
Initially, I’d found the story to be a little slow, but once I reached the halfway point and the family was helping two characters escape the clutches of Hector and his empire, it picked up quickly. The story stirred question: What would you do if it was your sibling that was taken and forced into this modern-day slavery? If it wasn’t a relative, would you still help? Would you be able to sit by and let it happen to other kids?
Other books and movies, like Taken, touched on the surface of how the girls are taken and how they are kept. Their spirits broken, their bodies hooked on drugs, it’s impossible for them to break away and escape. BoliviaKnight does a great job of showing Ranza’s struggles, not wanting to be a slave, but desperately craving the drug to numb the pain. Is she truly unworthy of the love of the family trying to save her, the family that emulates God’s love and grace? Despite mistakes along the way, through both families, Ranza and her brother are shown life outside of their situation and freedom beyond the physical.
Yes, the book has a Christian theme. Yes, the families speak to Ranza about God’s love. No, the book isn’t preachy and any reader, Christian or otherwise, can appreciate the subject matter.
What I find even more interesting is that this is the second book in the International Mission Force, yet it reads as a standalone. Despite not having read the first book, I really didn’t feel I’d missed anything. I’m curious about Czechmate, book one of the series.
Felicia Bridges began writing as an Army BRAT learning to enjoy life overseas. Her nomadic childhood created a passion for missions and travel that permeates her writing. She is a contributing author for Then Along Came an Angel: Messengers of Deliverance and God’s Provision in Tough Times, a finalist for the 2014 Selah Awards. Serving in ministry for over twenty years alongside her husband and the mother of four children, Felicia’s vision is to inspire the next generation to carry the gospel to all nations. Her blog, http://www.AdventuresThatInspireAction.wordpress.com, focuses on living on mission wherever life’s adventure leads.
Felicia graduated with highest honors from North Carolina State University with a B.A. in Psychology and a concentration in Human Resources Development. Her ten years’ experience as an HR Manager sharpened her understanding of people, while providing some very interesting stories. Having studied public speaking in college and as a graduate of the Dale Carnegie Course, she is equally comfortable speaking to the stranger in the checkout line or an auditorium full of people.
BoliviaKnight is available March 31, 2017: