The Girl Behind the Red Rope by Ted Dekker and Rachelle Dekker

Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me. Revell provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for an honest review.

The Girl Behind the Red Rope by Ted Dekker and Rachelle Dekker

(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)

Grace and others in her religious community stay within the boundaries of Haven Valley. They adhere to the strict rules made to keep them pure and safe from the evil that’s been unleashed in the world outside of their perimeter. But doubts about the reality of what’s out there and the course those in Haven Valley are supposed to take set Grace on a perplexing path in The Girl Behind the Red Rope by authors Ted Dekker and Rachelle Dekker.

First off—high five to a father and daughter authoring a novel together!

While it’s not my usual kind of read, I chose to try this book because of its cultish theme. Indeed, that theme set my teeth on edge, as it were, as I read: the whole issue of an isolated community with a warped sense of righteousness, where oppressive laws, leaders who rule by fear, and the magnification of sin come under the guise of “holiness.” I was 99.9% sure I’d know what the authors’ basic message would be about fear vs. love, but I wanted to see how they would get it across.

However, this suspense novel turned out not to be quite what I was expecting. That is, I expected the dark and dystopian feel, but the supernatural elements with strange creatures laced into the allegory kind of threw me. I trusted nothing and no one as I read, couldn’t really get behind the characters, and the pacing and development of the plot didn’t grip me. The story is bizarre but didn’t keep me interested enough to continue on after I got through a third of it.

I’ve enjoyed some historical/biblical fiction by Ted Dekker before and may give one of his thrillers a try sometime. I’ll probably opt for one of his older titles.


2 thoughts on “The Girl Behind the Red Rope by Ted Dekker and Rachelle Dekker

  1. Carolyn West says:

    I’m sorry to hear your thoughts on this. I have never read anything by Ted that I didn’t like but I have to admit I have fallen behind.
    Now I’m torn do I read or not?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nadine C. Keels says:

      As with any book, one reader’s level of enjoyment doesn’t necessarily determine another’s.

      I’ll admit I don’t have as much patience for a story to “get good” to me as I used to. For a novel to be worth my limited time these days, I want to enjoy *the whole book* (give or take a scene or two, if need be) rather than only enjoy two thirds or half of it. So nowadays, I rarely push through novels that haven’t captured or maintained my interest in the first 50 pages or so. (I read through more than 100 pages of this one, though. 😀 )

      Still, interest is an individual thing, and my choice not to finish certain books these days is a personal practice. If Ted and/or Rachelle Dekker are authors you enjoy, I wouldn’t discourage you from reading this book. 🙂

      A number of Ted Dekker’s fans have said this novel follows the same pattern of earlier novels of his and won’t hold many surprises for people already used to his work. That can be a disappointment for readers looking for something fresh, but it can be a positive thing for readers who enjoy the familiar. I can’t agree or disagree with those fans, since I’ve not read any of Dekker’s thrillers, but with several readers expressing that same thought, it’s factored into my idea about trying an older work of Dekker’s instead.


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