David C. Cook
Wolves Among Us, a historical novel by Ginger Garrett, explores themes of salvation and destruction while examining how God can use even the most flawed individuals to do His will. Mia is a woman of little consequence to the 16th century town of Dinfoil, Germany. Shunned by the town’s women and ignored by her domineering husband, Mia quietly tends to her sickly baby and ailing mother-in-law. Stefan is a priest who struggles to help the people of Dinfoil, viewing himself only as a confessor not as a shepherd or protector. When two, dark murders overshadow the town, both Mia and Stefan must face the harsh realities of violence and deceit.
As crimes escalate, suspicion of witchcraft brings an Inquisitor named Bastion to the tiny community. At first the townsfolk are skeptical, but soon Bastion’s eloquence and charisma win the trust of many. The Inquisitor begins to drag innocent women forward on charges of witchery, torturing and executing them as he sees fit, but soon faces unexpected opposition from two unlikely fronts: a doubting, timid priest, and a weak, unimportant woman.
Garrett tells her story using the omniscient point of view, an approach which is helpful in giving the reader a glimpse into the minds of both Mia and Stefan. Relationships also lend extraordinarily complicated elements to the plot. Of particular interest is the interaction between Mia and Bastion, as both characters teeter on the line between friendship and romance. Because the author never explains the genesis of Mia and Bastion’s attraction, the complexities of their relationship may be a bit confusing at times. Ultimately, however, the situation provides a gripping plot twist in which Mia is accused of witchery and realizes that God, not Bastion, must be the one to save her from evil.
Mia is a relatable character, exemplifying the helplessness of humanity as she is constantly beaten down and discouraged. Readers may identify with her desires for love and acceptance and will cheer when she finally escapes her oppressive husband. Additionally, Stefan is a tremendous example of how God can use even the weakest of His servants to accomplish impossible feats in the lives of His people. By the end of the story, both characters learn to face their flaws and fears, fighting against impossible odds to rescue their village from the clutches of deception.
As I read the first few chapters of Wolves Among Us, I was drawn in by the story, impressed with both characters and setting. By chapter ten, I was completely enthralled by Garrett’s ability to weave stunning imagery and prose. As I continued to read, however, it became apparent that not everything about the story was exactly as it had first seemed. The plot idea was brilliant, but some points were insufficiently developed and others were downright confusing. Furthermore, whereas Garrett’s mastery of language was impressive, there were chapters when the story seemed to be tangled in imagery. Lest I sound too judgmental, though, Wolves Among Us should not be burned at the stake without being given a fair trial from readers. Its story and characters will likely appeal to lovers of Christian historical fiction, and may provide a good, summertime story for the poolside. – Kari Lynn Travis, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
In a tiny medieval German village, a double murder stirs up festering fears. The overworked sheriff is baffled, so the village priest sends for help to solve the mystery. But the charismatic Inquisitor who answers the call brings with him a deadly mix of spiritual fervor and self-deceptive evil. Under his influence, ordinary village fears and resentments take a deadly turn, and soon women are the targets of his crusade. Terror mounts. Dark secrets come to light. But in the midst of it all, a man and woman-the priest and the sheriff's unloved wife-somehow dare to listen to another Voice . and discover what it means to love instead of fear.