Friday, April 22, 2011

The Heaven's Before by Kacy Barnett-Gramckow

Marginalized by society and mistreated by her own family, Annah befriends a young man she's never seen before. Shem is captivated by Annah's courage, and he risks everything to help her gain her freedom. Trusting in the Most High, Annah marries Shem and joins her strange new family in their solitary faith that will ultimately separate them from an ancient world of amazing beauty and appalling violence -- a world fast approaching the unimaginable catastrophe of the Great Flood. Out of this chaos, only eight people will survive. Their world is our world. Their future is our own.

The Review:
My Ranking: 10 out of 10
Ages: 15 & up

***This is a rewrite of a review I wrote a long time ago. Since then, I have changed the way I review in a lot of ways, hence my rewriting of this review.***

Let me start by saying this is my all time favorite book. It was incredible, and I have high standards for what I consider a good book - this meets those standards in every way. It was so easy to enter the life of Annah - a young girl who is stuck amidst the sin and hatred that engulfs the people of the world before the flood. The fact that it's a Biblical fiction is a huge plus for me - my favorite genre! ;)  It was excellently written and easy to read. I loved the story! Gramckow truly has a LOT of talent at her finger tips! ;)

Annah was so sweet and instantly loveable. I felt my heart ache as I watched her go through all the pains she did! I felt as if I were her - the best type of feeling you can get in a book! Sometimes you don't have a connection at all, sometimes you feel as if you're there with them, and then sometimes you feel as if you are them. I felt as if I were Annah, enduring all of her sufferings and rejoicing when Shem came to the rescue. 

And then there was he was like your perfect hero - literally rescuing her from death but in such a gentlemanly fashion! He was SO awesome! He has become one of my all time favorite heros. 

This book was fantastic. Though I wasn't sure what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised to find a book filled with tense moments and sweet scenes. Annah and Shem have the most beautiful love story I've ever seen - it was such a joy to read.  The Heaven's Before will tug at your emotions and cause you to ponder the circumstances that Annah and Shem live in. It is definitely a book that you will want to reread over and over again after turning the last page.

I only have a few things to mention about the content, the first being that the sins of the nation are very evident. Nothing is ever described, aside from perhaps a beating, but we do know of the lust of the men in the camps and how they commit adultery. One of Annah's own family members has a child out of wedlock. As I said before, nothing is described, but the violence is very apparent in the first few chapters.
The only other thing I'd like to mention is that there are a few lovey scenes after Shem and Annah marry. I was happy that there was nothing before - it was very clear that even personal contact was frowned upon in Noakh's family before marriage. But, afterwards, some of the scenes by be a little too much for a young reader. There are several scenes of them kissing and one, the night they move into their own house, where it ends the scene with him laying her in their bed. This is suggestive, but I was very happy that Gramckow ended the scene there. It was a very good way of showing how much Shem loved his wife and she loved him without going into unnecessary detail.

All in all, the book was amazing and I can't say just how much I recommend it. This is definitely not a book you will regret picking up. Purchase it HERE.

I received this free book in return for an honest review from Moody Publishers. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own.


Elaine J. Dalton said...

I have never heard of this book before! Gosh, what have I been missing?? Ah well, I'll certainly be on the look-out for it now! Wonderful reveiw by the way and I'm so glad you forewarned us about the suggestive content. ;)

God bless and happy Easter!

Faye said...

Sounds like a genuinely good book!

diana said...

This sounds like a really good book! I love the cover!

Diana Flowers

Jane said...

Elaine - Haha you've been missing a lot! ;) Glad my review was helpful! Hope you get your hands on this book some day - it's wonderful!

Faye - It was!

Diana - Yes the cover is beautiful, isn't it?!

Charity U said...

I want to read this one...hopefully I can find a copy soon. :)

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