I absolutely love the setting! A huge -and inherited- mansion full of masterpieces and mystery tucked away in the thick jungle undergrowth of a tiny village in Zanzibar, East Africa - with a clear, refreshingly safe and inviting lagoon right out back. (That just so happens to be the burial site of an 1800's shipwreck.)
Just as with the first book in this series, the character development and eventual growth is brilliant- and realistic. There was quite the range of characters, too! Jessica Thornton, our heroine- sister of Tillie from Kiss of Adventure- is the "single" mom of highly intelligent and highly adventurous ten-year-old Splinter; a bit paranoid over him and their well being, Jess is a bit of a work-worn and starving- though talented- artist.
In steps the hero of our story- marine archaeologist Rick McTaggert- who also just so happens to be the long lost husband of, you guessed it, Jessie Thornton.
Jessie- for her son's good as well as her own- must learn to let go of her bitterness, forgive, and ultimately rely on God for all of her needs- which includes a deeper relationship with Him.
The pace of the story was perfect; not confusingly fast, but definitely not too slow, either. Everything moved along nicely, with each situation getting resolved in good time with no loose strings.
The ending was rather abrupt yet extremely peaceful. Here the story has been going along with inner (as well as outer) turmoil with issues regarding trust, bitterness, confusion, fear- not to mention the fact that someone in your midst is potentially a threat to your life and you can't for the world figure out who! (Another absolutely brilliant factor to this story, I might add! I never would have seen it coming.) Then, all of a sudden, everything comes to light...everything is resolved...everyone is safe...and all you had to do was trust, and put everything in God's hands. Even as I was reading the last chapter of this book I had no idea how everything was going to come together, and then, before I knew it, it had. I've never read an ending pieced together this way- almost too easy, but so satisfying. Genius.
Each aspect of the story-line went hand-in-hand with Jessica's personal life, giving the reader a good feel for what she was going through, and strengthening you right along with her.