Long Way Back Home: Crossing a World of Limitations
by Evelyn Saah-Giegbefumwen

"The most important thing an adolescent should know is that they need to have a relationship with Jesus."

Jamour is the daughter of a single mother, Terry, who often seems distant, even hostile. Jamour sadly recalls the few years when she was abandoned to the care of her grandmother who subtly exerted a positive influence on the child. Now a young adolescent, Jamour is getting into trouble in school almost every day, with suspensions a regular occurrence. With her friends she gossips and wonders about boys and sex. Terry, with whom she constantly argues, remembers her own sins and, fearing Jamour will follow in her footsteps, accuses her daughter of being a whore. Jamour runs away, seeking refuge with a group of renegades that offer both decent role models (a sympathetic girl buys her a much-needed bra) and terrible examples (a man suffering from AIDS takes a lurid interest in the naïve teen). A remarkable, almost miraculous, incident will save the teenager just as her life is on the brink of true disaster.

Author, minister, and Sunday school teacher Saah-Geigbeffumwen brings to bear her considerable knowledge of and respect for Biblical teaching. She has constructed her book in three distinct segments: in the first and last portions she lays out religious principles as they apply to the story of troubled adolescents, with the middle section comprising Jamour’s story. It is possible that the author speaks from her experience of counseling young people, as she shows sensitivity in that arena. She expounds the religious tenets in plain language with many Bible quotations, at times assuming a warning tone and exhorting readers to pray often and purposefully to avoid situations like the one Jamour and her mother were caught in. The author’s book has a heavily religious theme and a teachable story that could be used as a manual for Christian groups concentrating on guiding teenagers.

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