by Shelley Bates

May 2007
ISBN: 978-0-446-69493-3
Reviewer Graphic Button FaithWords
Trade Paperback

Laurie Haleís life changed drastically when she went for her usual morning jog. Running along the river path, she finds a girlís body in the river. Laurie doesnít know the girl, but she looks to be about the same age as her daughter, Anna. The next day, Laurie discovers that the girl belongs to one of the ladies that have recently begun attending Laurieís prayer group.

The police question all two hundred students in the girls class, and all the parents insist that their kids were home and in bed. But inconsistencies in the stories begin surfacing, and Laurie learns that Anna has somehow snuck out of the house and was there at the bridge when an apparent fight broke out and the now deceased girl was pushed off the bridge.

Laurie is asked to leave the prayer group, and her marriage begins floundering. Laurieís only friend left is Janice, the mayorís wife, whose son could implicate Anna ó or exonerate her. Can Laurie find the answers to the questions plaguing her? Will she be able to forgive her friends for abandoning her in her hours of need? And what kind of mother questions her childís innocence?

Over Her Head is not the first book Iíve ever read by Shelley Bates, but it is the best one Iíve read by her so far. She grabbed my interest in the first pages and held it throughout this unique story line. The characters become real, the issues important, and I couldnít wait to see what happened next.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Over Her Head and highly recommend it. It has a strong message about forgiveness, and Godís grace while not being preachy. Mothers of teens with identify and commiserate with Laurie. Some of the police scenes are a bit too realistic but the story is very well told and extremely interesting. Discussion questions are included at the end.

Reviewed in July 2007 by Laura.

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