Title: Not a Word
Author: Chautona Havig
Major Themes: Christian Life, Forgiveness
Synopsis: When events unfold in an unexpected direction, a girl tells a lie to protect her reputation—and forever ruins the already-precarious reputation of the town bad boy.
I’ve been wanting to read Not a Word for some time, since reading what the author had to say about it. When I got sick several days ago and wanted something easy to read, I bought it. I was not disappointed. Even though I knew the ending because of spoilers in HearthLand, I had a hard time putting the book down.
20-year-old Mac has been waiting four years to ask Savannah if he can take her to her senior prom. As it turns out, she has been eyeing him nearly as long! Incredulous that Savvy, a Christian girl, would accept him, as a non-Christian, for a date, he is thrilled. The evening turns out differently than either of them anticipated, and life is changed forever for both. Weeks later, the girl who never did anything wrong told a lie to save her reputation—and ruined his already precarious reputation for good. Then, she left town abruptly, leaving Mac to pick up the pieces.
So many themes are discussed in this book. Sin, repentance and salvation. Lust and temptation. Forgiveness, both of ourselves and others. One subject that I haven’t seen discussed before is that of a girl lusting for sexual attention. Normally, we only hear about boys and their temptations, but a lot of girls—and I can vouch for that personally, although I never had the opportunity (thank God!) to find out whether I could say no to myself—deal with this problem. As Savannah told her parents, and I paraphrase, “You taught me how to say no to the boys, but you didn’t teach me how to say no to myself.” The only addition I would have liked to see to the book is an answer to that problem, but maybe just bringing the problem out into the open is enough.
Once again, Chautona Havig has crafted an engaging story to convey some difficult truths. I loved the ending, and I loved most of the characters. Young Rory was very fun!
WARNING: Because this book is about sexual temptation, have caution when allowing younger people to read it.
Reading Independently—Ages 15 and Above, Adults