When Mitchell's wife, Jill, kisses him goodbye, he has no idea that he may never see her again. When she doesn't return and the police can't find her, Mitch asks his neighbor, Shelley, for help. As months pass, Mitch and Shelley grow closer. How can he honor his vows to a woman who's vanished? 368 pages, softcover from Howard.
Average Customer Rating:
(24 Reviews) 24
Rating Snapshot(24 reviews)
20 out of 2483%customers would recommend this product to a friend.
I did not like this book. I have read several books by Mrs. Raney. I have enjoyed all the other books I have read. I didn't like this one. I did a lot of skimming after about 40 pages. It bothered me that Shelly spent so much time with Mitch. Yes, I can see this happening for the first day or so. But, not afterwards. I am a single parent. I am extremely careful about how I interact with married men. I don't have phone conversations back and forth. I don't send e-mails back and forth. I don't go with them in a car, unless it's an emergency. Then, it's a one-time thing. I am extremely cautious, because it's what my church preaches. I am never going to be a temptation to another man's marriage. I'm never going to put myself in a position where I can't ask God's blessing on my life. Shelly spent too much alone time with Mitch - if she ever wanted to have a relationship with him later on down the road. How would she trust him - later on? I did not like this book.
Deb Raney isn't afraid to plumb the depths of relationships. The Face of the Earth is more than a good story. More than a good read, it's an emotional experience. Novel Rocket and I give it a very high recommendation.
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Review 3 for The Face of the Earth
Another Great Read about a Tough Topic
Date:June 17, 2013
Location:Battle Creek, MI
I finished reading The Face of the Earth by Deborah Raney about two weeks ago. I became a fan of hers probably five to seven years ago. Every time she has a new book or series out, I can’t wait to read it because I know I will fall in love all over again with her characters and the situations they find themselves in. I absolutely loved this story from beginning to end…in fact, I can’t stop thinking about Mitch and Jill and Shelley. While I was reading I couldn’t decide which ending I would be happier with as there were definitely two possibilities. This book moved me to tears as I considered the sadness and happiness that each ending would give. I definitely was living the story, not just reading about someone else’s life.
I love how Ms. Raney writes about realistic situations for modern day America. I love how she weaves spiritual elements throughout the book, not hitting anyone over the head but a quiet faith, the type I live out on a daily basis. She shows when there is a time to take a stand morally and also a time to just quietly go about living without worrying about others opinions. I loved the commentary in the back of the book too, where she described a little bit about the background behind the story. It made the story itself, which was incredible, have even more impact on a spiritual level.
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a great romance, loves reading about present day situations, and who enjoy growing a little more in their spiritual walk. I can’t wait to read the next book that Ms. Raney chooses to write. Hope we don’t have to wait too long.
This book deals with a tough question that most of us don’t have an instant answer to – if your spouse were to just disappear without a trace one day, how long should you stay alone? When, if ever, is it okay to let love back in? Obviously this book was a little different from the normal ones I read, and while I didn’t absolutely love it, I still enjoyed it and found it quite fascinating and an enjoyable read. There was enough of a mystery/question through-out to keep me reading. Overall? A well-written book that I found interesting!
**Litfuse sent me a free copy of this book as part of the blog tour. I wasn’t required to post positively, only to review it. I was not compensated in any other way for this review.**
A story that makes you think...all that we take for granted. No matter who in your family doesn't come home, there is a sense of panic. Going around for about a year with no answers has got to be heart wrenching. I could not imagine my husband's voice on our answering machine, saying he would be home shortly, and then vanishing with no trace. What length would you go to to find your loved one? We find Mitchell Brannon's wife Jill showing up in unexpected ways...but where is she? Will Mitch make it through this trauma. What will happen to his college age children?? How do you deal with school when part of your family is missing. Did Jill take off of her own free will? Where is she? I don't think I could, and know Mitch didn't without God's help! As time goes on by, you wonder how her reappearing in their lives is going to effect them, or if she never comes home. The not knowing has got to be the horror of this book. It becomes a real page turner trying to see where the answers are going to come from. I highly recommend this mystery....it is a great read.
I received this book through Litfuse Publicity Book Tours, and was not required to give a positive review.
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Review 6 for The Face of the Earth
Current Issues--It Can Happen
Date:May 27, 2013
Diane Huff Pitts
The unthinkable. Someone drives off and doesn’t return. Does life stop for Mitchell and his wife’s best friend Shelley? Deborah Raney combines heart-rending mystery with forbidden romance in The Face of the Earth:A Novel. Raney’s style delivers. The opening reminds me of a furious blizzard followed by a gentle snowfall but replete with drifts--you think it’s safe to go outside, but unseen danger lies ahead. She creates “breathable” characters grappling with current issues. Authorities seek missing persons in epidemic numbers, so what happened to Mitchell’s wife Jill? Social media spawns illicit relationships. The possibility is true in our society. Loneliness drives people together, but what if one is married? Deborah never leaves me hanging but it’s resolution with a twist in The Face of the Earth:A Novel. (I was provided with this book for review purposes only, and no payment was received for this review.)
Raney has penned a good study in character. What is a Christian man to do when his wife has been missing for nearly a year and he is having serious feelings for the woman who is his wife's best friend? I always find it interesting when an author writes a novel with the main character of the opposite sex. I think Raney did a pretty good job, however, on portraying the male lead character. But then, I'm a woman.
And the plot is not all that unrealistic. Thousands of people go missing each year with hundreds of the cases remaining open, never having been solved. I did feel like the novel was a bit long for the plot line though. But I can see that if a Christian man is going to have romantic feelings for a woman, it had better be months and months after his wife has gone missing.
I did feel like the way the mystery was solved was a bit out of left field. That was probably the most unrealistic aspect of the novel for me. Then, poof, the novel is over, after such an agonizingly long wait. That didn't work for me.
This is a pretty good novel but not the best I have read from Raney.
I received a complimentary egalley of this novel from the publisher for the purpose of this review.
Deborah Raney's latest novel Face of the Earth is about how one man tries to honor his wedding vows to his wife whose seemingly disappears.
In the fiction world I can imagine the demand to write new titles and come up with fresh and exciting plots, but this was a story I wished I never read. Having read one of Deborah Raney's book I was expecting a mystery surrounded by the disappearance and a deep and exciting plot. Much to my horror I found myself reading a love...er... lust story of a still married man with his missing wife's best-friend. One of the most disturbing factors was that both parties were presented as Christians, clearly and Biblically speaking a person who's lusted and coveted after her neighbors husband for fifteen years is NOT a Christian.
Face of the Earth was a contemporary novel with a super unrealistic plot. People in their right mind don't try to snatch their best-friends husband and certainly not a supposed Christian.
I was completely disgusted by the plot that I was unable to finish the story. I ceartinly would not reccomend this book to someone else. I give this book 1 star for the sake of the author who took time to write the book.
I received this book for free from Litfuse in exchange for this independent and unbiased review.
Deborah Raney's The Face of the Earth centers on how can Mitch Brannon "honor the vows he made to a woman who has seemingly disappeared from the face of the earth.
While a good plot in thought, it just did not work for me. The mystery surrounding Jill Brannon's disappearance draws you in immediately but besides wanting to find out what happened to her, the excitement ended there.
There seem to be so many possibilities of what could have happened but time and time again each clue turns up empty. However, what is immediately apparent are Shelley' s motives. Shelley is Jill's next door neighbor and best friend. One would think she would be grieving the loss of her friend instead of finally revealing her secret "love" for her Jill's husband. Her help during the situation seemed manipulative and she came off as needy and clingy. Her mentioning seeking direction from God all the while coveting another woman's husband portrayed her as a hypocrite. She seemed to capitalize on her friends disappearance to finally make her move on Mitch. She even seemed sinister at times when trying to convince Mitch to move on and that she was not going to compete with God. Mitch seemed to too distraught to really have fostered feelings for Shelley. He seemed confused and looking for comfort not even having time to sift through his emotions and grieve without having Shelley flirting and making advances at him.
The story line could have been developed in a manner that clearly portrayed the hurt and recuperation that Mitch would have to endure without the ambiguity of whether he was honoring his marriage vows. His relationship with Shelley was clearly inappropriate depicted by their secretiveness and own guilty feelings. I felt this book sent the wrong message.
I received a complimentary copy of above mentioned title from Litfuse in exchange for an independent and unbiased review.
I love books that make me think. This is the type of novels that leaves you pondering things even after you finish the last page. I really liked how the story ended because it brought closure to everything. I also appreciated the realistic struggles that the hero and heroine had. This author does a good job with stirring emotion in the reader and making hearts ache as well as rejoice. There were just enough "we think we've found out what happened" scenarios to make it seem suspenseful, even though it wasn't a suspense novel. There was also a mystery element to the book. It would be hard to sit around waiting when the trail seems to grow colder by the day.
The questions Mitch asked himself were legitimate ones. How do you know when it's time to let go? How do you get peace in a situation like this? Why did God let it happen and why did it take so long to find out the truth? Well, God knows what he's doing and if we tune into His will, we will find peace and a deeper relationship with Him, but we have to surrender our own plans first. It's really hard to talk about some of the characters' journeys without posting spoilers and this is the kind of book that you don't want to cheat and read the end first.
Half the beauty of reading the story is not knowing the outcome. The moral and spiritual dilemmas are more complex when the reader doesn't know the future... just like in real life. How many decisions would we change if we knew what the future held? It was a realistic and touching journey for me in that respect. I really enjoyed this story.
Deborah Raney has again delivered a story that drew me in and made me read furiously until the very last page. This is a unique story of Mitch's search for his wife who never returns from a teachers' conference. As the days, weeks, and months pass by, he struggles with whether to continue searching or to admit that she's never coming home. And more importantly, he fights to learn what exactly happened to his wife. Did someone harm her? Or did she simply run off? As he continues the search, he grows closer to Jill's best friend and next door neighbor, Shelley. As their feelings for one another grow, Mitch must decide if he will honor his vows to a missing woman or begin a new life with Shelley.
Early on I was anxious about some of the possible outcomes of this complex story. After reading about 30 pages, I cheated and read the last page. With the slight comfort that there at least would be a firm resolution (one of my fears was that the book would simply go in circles and not really reach a satisfying conclusion), I continued reading. All I can say is WOW! The journey that this book takes you on as you read Mitch, Jill, and Shelley's story is simply unbelievable. I loved the characters and felt their emotions coming through the pages of the book. While this is a pretty heavy story, it was also filled with hope and encouragement. I cannot recommend The Face of the Earth highly enough. When you make your summer reading list, be sure to include this incredible book by Deborah Raney! [4.5 stars]
I received a free copy of this book from Howard Books & LitFuse Publicity in exchange for my fair and honest review.
Deborah Raney in her new book, "The Face of the Earth" published by Howard Books brings us into the life of Mitchell Brannon.
From the back cover: What if she never came home . . . ?
When Mitchell Brannon's beloved wife sets off for home after a conference, he has no idea that his life is about to change forever. Mitch returns from work early that evening, surprised that Jill's car isn't in the garage. But her voice on the answering machine makes him smile. "Hey, babe, I'm just now checking out of the hotel, but I'll stop and pick up something for dinner. Love you." Hours later, Jill still hasn't returned, and Mitch's irritation turns to dread.
When the police come up empty, Mitch enlists the help of their next-door neighbor, Jill's best friend, Shelley, to help search. As hours turn into days and days into weeks, Mitch and Shelley's friendship grows ever closer--and decidedly more complicated. Every lead seems to be a dead end, and Mitch wonders how he can honor the vows he made to a woman who has seemingly disappeared from the face of the earth.
How far do you have to go to keep your marriage vows? "The Face of the Earth" explores that question. It also explores the special friendship that exists between women. Then there is the mystery. Mitchell Brannon's wife doesn't come home. Despite an investigation she just cannot be found. If she is gone does that mean his marriage is over? Ms. Raney gives us a mystery as to what really happened to Jill and what will happen between Mitchell and Shelley. "The Face of the Earth" deals with relationships and is so well balanced to keep it from becoming really depressing which in the hands of a lesser author would have become. All the characters are likable and Ms. Raney has a way of making the characters lives very real so that we feel that we are living the moments with them.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity Group. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
I found this to be a captivating storyline with characters that were realistic and easy to relate with. I was captured from almost the beginning of the story and enjoyed it until the very end. This story got me thinking how a disappearance without a trace would affect a family.
The author did an amazing job pulling me into this story and the life of a husband dealing with all the questions that surround his wife's mysterious disappearance. She told the story from the two points of view, Mitch and Shelley and allowed me to glimpse at what both were feeling about the situation.
This story made me cry, smile and even laugh at times but I finished it wanting to read more by this author. She did a great job telling a powerful story that touched me deeply.
Disclaimer: I did receive this book from the publisher but was under no obligation to give anything but my honest opinion.
When you take your wedding vows, you agree to follow them until one of you or possibly both of you dies and the vow is no longer applicable. Yet what happens when your spouse simply never returns home despite being happily married? How long does one wait before it's acceptable to move forward? That is the premise behind the latest book from Deborah Raney, The Face of the Earth.
Jill and Mitchell Brannon are your typical married couple. They attend church regularly, have raised two children that are now attending college nearby and have close friends that live in the property directly behind theirs. Jill Brannon takes her husbands advice and attends a conference designed for teachers in nearby Kansas City and is expected back in a couple of days. All goes well and there's even a message awaiting Mitchell on their answering machine at home, that Jill has checked out of the hotel and is planning to see him soon with a surprise just for him. That was more than 5 hours ago. More than enough time for Jill to have driven home. There are no adverse weather conditions that would prevent her from arriving home as expected and despite all his calls to her cell phone all he gets is voicemail. How long will he have to wait before she comes home. How long would you wait?
In the latest novel The Face of the Earth, Deborah Raney takes the reader into every single persons worst nightmare. What happens when someone you love simply vanishes off the face of the Earth without a trace. I found myself cringing at the waiting that Mitch has to do in simply not knowing where Jill has gone. The police have no clues and no real motives to speak of. Despite all his attempts to convince them that Jill is not the type to simply walk away from her marriage and family, they've seen enough cases to know this could very well be a possibility. Mitch relies on the help of Jill's best friend and their neighbor Shelley, to see if between the two of them, they might figure out where Jill is before the police can. But what if they can't? What if she simply has had a mid-life crisis and has left them all behind? Will Shelley confide in Mitch that Jill's ex boyfriend contacted her on Facebook and wanted to meet while she was away at the conference?
You'll have to pick this novel out to find out how it all ends!
I received The Face of the Earth by Deborah Raney compliments of Howard Books, a division of Simon and Schuster Publishers and Litfuse Publicity for my honest review and received no monetary compensation for a favorable one. This was such a compelling novel for me to not want to put it down until I knew what the outcome would be. In fact, I had to fight myself several times to not rush to the back of the book to find out more than half way through because the suspense was killing me. I forced myself to wait it out simply because like people who experience this kind of nightmare for real, the answers aren't found simply by going to the end of the book. They have to painstakingly live through it minute by minute. I am thankful that Deborah Raney decided to come up with a conclusion for this novel instead of simply leaving it as Jill never coming back and leaving the reader to come up with their own conclusions on what happened. Thank you, thank you for that! This one is a great read and makes you wonder how you would react in the similar situation, and praying that you never will have to know. I rate this one a 4.5 out of 5 stars and have added this to my growing Deborah Raney library of novels.
It was supposed to be a normal Labor Day weekend for the Brannon’s, which includes steaks on the grill. Jill Brannon was on her way home after a teacher’s conference, and her husband Mitch was preparing to cook the steaks. Hours passed and Jill still hadn’t returned home. The police were contacted, and every bit of information was thoroughly checked to no avail. Jill seemed to have disappeared off the face of the earth.
I found this story to be a realistic look at what a family might go through in a similar situation. The worry, the frustration, the despair, and then giving the situation to God, knowing He is ready and able to listen to and comfort His children. I found the characters to be realistic and very likeable people who could very possibly be next-door neighbors. As I read, I became emotionally attached to the characters and experienced many of the same ups and downs that they had.
A story of love and loss, and learning to lean on the One who is able to carry us through the difficult times, and Who is able to turn our mourning into dancing. Just remember to keep the tissue box handy, because, if you are like me, the tears will be rolling down your face as you read this story.
** The Face of the Earth Deborah Raney was provided for me free as an Advanced Reading Copy (ACR) by Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for my honest review.
Face of the Earth is a touching, thought-provoking story about commitment -- genuine, deep commitment to vows made between a husband and wife. In the face of what seems like a hopeless situation, and despite unexpected interest toward another woman, Mitchell Brannon remains determined to honor his vows to his missing wife.
Deborah Raney has crafted an engaging story with believable characters. Mitch and Shelley run through a wide range of realistic emotions as they struggle with the loss and uncertainty of Jill's disappearance. The story takes twists and turns that leave no room for predictability. In fact, throughout much of the book, it is hard to imagine how the situation can be resolved with the characters remaining true to themselves. But Raney delivers an authentic, well-written resolution.
I highly recommend Face of the Earth to fans of quality Christian fiction. This is my first exposure to Deborah Raney's writing, and I look forward to reading more.
This book was provided free of charge from Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for my honest review.
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Review 17 for The Face of the Earth
Dedication to Marriage
Date:May 9, 2013
The story is a good one. What happens when your spouse is unaccounted for? How do you move on? Do you move on? In this case, Jill leaves a message for her husband that she is on her way home then never makes it. The days turn to weeks and the weeks to months. In the meantime, the attraction between Mitch and Shelley grows. What is the moral and ethical way to handle this?
I liked the way the author handled the topic. I loved the way the marriage was treated as sacred even when Mitch didn't know if Jill was taken, left, or died. Mitch still viewed the marriage promises he made to Jill and to God as a sacred covenant even when he briefly questioned Jill's dedication. (view spoiler)
It's a well written novel that provides a stark contrast to the eroding societal beliefs on marriage. For that I give it five stars. For the rest (story interest, engagement, character development), I give it 3.5
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Review 18 for The Face of the Earth
Wonderful Story Full of Suspense and Emotion
Date:May 1, 2013
Deborah Raney’s new novel takes the reader on a roller coaster ride of emotion; the believable characters weaving a story that could have been torn from today’s headlines and exploited on the morning news shows. What happens when a loved one just disappears without a trace? Follow Ms. Raney’s hero and heroine on a hope-filled journey touched by despair, faith and love.
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Review 19 for The Face of the Earth
One of my favorite Deborah Raney books
Date:April 30, 2013
Deborah Raney is one of my favorite authors. She has such a way of drawing you into the characters lives and emotions. I loved this book and read it in 2 days. She combines mystery, emotions, and faith and I just could not put it down until I found out what happened to Jill! I highly recommend this book and if it is your first Deborah Raney book, you will want to go back and read her earlier books also!
Contemporary women’s fiction with a strong plot line that had me hooked from the back cover copy.
What has become of Jill? Kidnapped? Run away? Nervous breakdown? Lost? Dead? Three hundred pages of trying to find this woman who has simply disappeared off the face of the earth. Husband Mitch is such a character to feel for. What is he to do? Searching, passing clues to the police and each one is a dead end. Can one even imagine being in such a position?
I think the story does a good job of what that must feel like to have someone you love just disappear and you have no clue why. The story plays with great realism and yet still keeps our main characters likeable and as real as the people who might live next door.
The ending is heartbreaking. It’s one you know is coming, you have a pretty good idea of what has happened after reading the entire book. And on one hand my heart was saddened, on the other I was grateful our characters had their “answer”.
The story is the struggles faced with every human life. It’s a love story twined through as real life story as what might be ripped from the headlines. It’s a story that has its moment of difficulty as I traversed the literary landscape, but one I walked closely by each of the characters.
This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to the publishers through Litfuse for my copy to review.