Searching for Grace - Juliann Rich

"He that maketh many friends doeth it to his own destruction; But there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother." - Proverbs 18:24 American Standard Version (ASV)

summer is over. Ian McGuire returns to his foster parents' farm and Jonathan Cooper goes back to school at East Bay Christian Academy. rumors of what transpired at Spirit Lake Bible Camp wends its way inside the private school. Jonathan faces the scorn and disgust of his soccer teammates. if that was not enough, he must contend with his mother who retreats into silence more and more whenever the subject of being gay is raised. Jonathan also worries about his father who is on tour of duty in Afghanistan; what to do and how to face him when he returns home. with Ian miles away from him, Jonathan feels so alone. Frances "Sketch" Mallory and Mason Kellerman from art class enter the picture and provide support and friendship. on the night of the homecoming dance, Ian is in town and Jonathan brings him to the event. things turn for the worse and blood is spilled...

this is the second book in the Crossfire Trilogy and things get more intense not only for Jonathan but for everyone within his circle. author Juliann Rich further explores and expands the issues and events that took place after Jonathan's coming out. the reader is also introduced to new characters and would be pleased to know the return of a few good ones - Simon, Dawn and Bear, her Great Pyrenees.

again, the writing is perfect. the characterization and dialogs are spot on. the emotions are as raw and honest as ever. Ms. Rich also employs flashbacks and she handles them very well. i think only a few writers could manage that. the transition from past to present or present to past is so smooth that readers will not get confused - only enlightened as the story unfolds.

the struggle between the emotional and the spiritual is still addressed and the author continues to present different views on homosexuality via realistic situations and through her characters.

if i loved the first book Caught in the Crossfire, i loved this second part even more because it demonstrated Juliann Rich's consistency in her writing and her adeptness in storytelling.

*received a copy for review from the publisher