“The Tears of Dark Waters” by Corban Addison is a lengthy, deep novel about social issues that plague our times; both in the US and around the world. In this fictional story, an American family tries to restore their relationship with their wayward son, a Somalian teen gets in with the wrong crowd so he can get enough money to rescue his mother and sister from Muslims and when those two worlds collide, an FBI agent and his sister get wrapped up in both stories. The theme majored on family life, and how any type of brokenness within the family unit can cause destruction on so many levels.
Daniel and Vanessa Parker have a troubled teenage son, Quentin. In trying to “get their son” back, Daniel and Quentin take their yacht and sail around the world hoping this time with his father will pull Quentin out of the dark place he’s in. Both father and son are good sailors and do fine… until captured by Somalian pirates and held for ransom. The pirates are headed up by Ibrahim, the young Muslim man who is trying to get enough money to help his sister and mother. Though Ibrahim was Muslim, he wasn’t raised in the sect that believed in murder and destruction. Yet, when left with nothing, Ibrahim will stop at nothing to gain revenge against the other Muslim’s who killed his father and separated him from his family.
Above, I mentioned that I felt like the theme of the book was mostly about family issues. The Parkers, though living the successful American dream, had a broken family. Ibrahim, a young man from the other side of the world, was brutally separated from his family at a young age over religious civil war in his country. FBI agent, Paul Derrick, suffers from childhood trauma even in his adulthood. This book shows a vivid picture of how these private family matters impact the world when left unresolved. What made this book so powerful to me was that it didn’t necessarily have a happy ending. I’ll try not to give away any spoilers, but I felt this book had a believable ending – one that readers who’ve lived through traumatic experiences would be able to relate to, and maybe, learn how to deal with their own tragedies by seeing someone else move past theirs.
Conclusion: Even though I gave this book a good rating, there are a few things Christian readers should know before picking it up. Personally, I bought this book from a Christian bookstore and it’s from a Christian publishing company, but I learned that those things don’t necessarily mean it’s Christian. Several of the characters cussed throughout the novel and there was a mention of two characters sleeping together at the end. (Nothing graphic, just something to let you know that the characters didn’t follow Biblical principles in their lifestyle.) Now, with that said, for a secular book, it wasn’t too bad, but when you bought it from a Christian bookstore, well, those things were quite the surprise. For this reason, I’ve seen this book get several one star ratings in reviews. So, here goes the tricky part… Concerning the publishing company, Thomas Nelson, I’m disappointed in you. You’ve made me question buying books from my local Christian bookstore because I thought I was buying a Christian book and it wasn’t. On the other hand, I want to objectively say that the author did an outstanding job with their work. I was captivated and impressed by Addison’s ability to craft a story so different, yet, so relevant for our world today. But…I just wish I was prepared for certain things in the story before opening the book.