The Wrong Side Of Eternity: A Present-Day Passion
by Mary Mendenhall
Author Reputation Press

"He poked her in the shoulder with the butt of his Kalashnikov, motioning her to get up, to move out of the bus. God, no, she thought, but out of fear she mechanically obeyed."

The story begins in the 1970s during the horrific reign of Uganda's Idi Amin. Readers meet a young schoolgirl, Charity, whose degradation at the hands of the oppressive military is all too reflective of what is being experienced by the population as a whole. Geoffrey—her schoolmaster uncle, in danger of torture or death, simply because he is an educated man—manages to escape and eventually makes his way to the United States. There he meets Stephen, a born-again Christian running from his own personal demons at a Bible college that will become the focal point for various individuals trying to find their own paths. From a music prodigy to a formidable debater to a physical therapist and more, lives begin to intertwine as their personal, intellectual, and spiritual growth takes them into the 1990s and beyond.

Ranging from the African continent's blazing sun to the wave-caressed shores of America's West Coast, two different worlds and the people who sometimes occupy both are explored in this novel's examination of relationships, religion, and life. Author Mendenhall weaves the disparate stories of these souls together inventively as they share the highs and lows of life. From triumphs to tragedies, their private thoughts and public behaviors are revealed dramatically through the author's use of engaging prose and believable dialogue. While she unspools her characters' physical fate, she also illuminates each of her major player's particular relationship with God and the role belief has in guiding one's life instead of merely coping with it. This is not the kind of novel one finds a lot of these days, making it the kind of novel worth finding.

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