When Through Deep Waters

Reviewed by: Theresa M. Hughes, a professional writing major at Taylor University.  


Title: When Through Deep Waters

Author: Rachelle Dekker

Publisher:Tyndale House Publishers

Publication Date: 2018

Format: print book

Length: 374 Pages


Dekker tells the story of Alicen McCaffery, a single mother, whose life changes when her only daughter dies under her watch. Alicen heads to the mountains she used to visit as a kid, but she finds more than just memories there. She begins to see and hear things that cannot possibly be reality, just as her beloved grandmother used to. Alicen is forced to wonder whether she is simply the next in her family to go crazy, or if maybe she has a special gift of perception and there is some truth to what she is seeing.

Rachelle Dekker pulls readers in with strong descriptions and a sympathetic main character. The mystery element to this story is engaging and exciting. Readers are never exactly sure if the character is losing her grip or if she is being blessed with divine insight. The plot advances quickly as a psychological tale of intrigue. The reading is easy, but the questions the story raises about self-respect, trust in a higher being, and a sense of personal destiny challenge the readers to examine their own lives in these regards. .

Following Alicen’s story, this book takes readers on a journey of self-discovery relating to faith in the unseen and the meaning of forgiveness by grace. Readers are forced to wrestle with the ideas of guilt and self-hatred just as Alicen does. This book brings to the forefront such questions as what does it take to forgive oneself? Could there be more to life than simply what can be seen? How can one know for sure what true peace is? Dekker uses these questions to force Alicen (and the book’s readers) to receive a strong personal message about accepting forgiveness.


Rating (1 to 5)

4 stars

Suggested Audience

Readers ages 13 and older, general Christian audience, fans of psychological thriller/suspense novels

Suggested audience is ages 13 and older because this book tends to dwell more on internal struggles and not as much on external conflict. There are also a number of references to things such as suicide, rape, self-harm, and general abuse. None of this is explicit or graphic, but these adult themes are important factors in the story.

Christian Impact

This book forces readers to grapple with what it means to be forgiven, no matter the severity of one’s sins. The main character goes through a spiritual journey from self-hatred and guilt to a place of grace and forgiveness. This book teaches that we can learn to forgive ourselves because we have already been forgiven.

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When Through Deep Waters

About Ceil Carey

The Evangelical Church Library Association, founded in 1970, is a fellowship of Christian churches, schools, and individuals.

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