Title: An Uncertain Faith
Author: Allie Potts
Release Date: October 29, 2013
Synopsis: Charlotte Row is in a rut. After a decade of marriage, feeling trapped by her responsibilities as a breadwinner in a job that bores her, de-sensualized in her role as mother, and neglected by her husband, she yearns for her earlier days of freedom and romance. Until the day she comes home from a ladies only weekend finding her house empty. All the evidence points towards parental child abduction, but for all her complaints, Charlotte’s heart refuses to accept what her eyes and brain tell her. An extreme example of the reason to be careful what you wish for, Charlotte must now come to terms with her new reality and decide if she wants to continue to merely daydream about a better future, or to take charge of her own life. Along the way she must also locate her family, deal with the up and downs of running a small business, and decide what is more important, the security that can be found settling for doing the same thing day in and day out or pursuing her own dreams knowing the risks. This is a secular story of faith set in the very real Great Recession economic conditions.
Characters: The main character is Charlotte, told in her point of view, wife to a man starting his own business and mother to a 4 year old boy. Charlotte is your average, dutiful wife and mother but in the beginning of the book her husband seems distracted by his work all of the time, as business owners usually are. He does, however, start to neglect his wife and son by attaching himself to his phone and computer. Other characters include Charlotte’s overbearing mother, her jealous, spiteful sister, and her cold, unsympathetic boss. As a wife and mother to my own 4 year old, I could relate to Charlotte easily and understood most of her actions even though they were frowned upon by most of the other characters. She and the rest of the characters were well-developed and relatable, even if not easy to like.
Plot: Charlotte goes out with her friends on a girls’ weekend and comes home to an empty house. Thinking her husband took her son camping, she doesn’t worry until he doesn’t show up to work a couple of days later. She tries to enlist the help of her family and police, but they are more burdensome than helpful, so Charlotte must use her own intelligence and determination to find out what happened to her family. The plot was suspenseful and interesting throughout the entire novel. Potts built up a good amount of mystery as Charlotte digs into her investigation. Unlike with other mysteries, I did not predict the ending until I got to it.
Writing: Pott’s descriptions were good, but a bit lengthy. Her sentences tend to be a bit long and winding; most of them probably could have been broken up. Another edit or 2 could’ve helped as well. However, the story was told well, with everything pieced together adequately. I would recommend An Uncertain Faith to any lover of mystery and contemporary fiction.