Review of Door to Freedom: A Fictional Missions-Based Novel by Jana Kelley

Although we’ve prayed for and supported missionaries for years in our family, I know that what I’ve learned about international missions only scratches the surface. I’ve enjoyed several fictional novels that are set in other countries and feature missionary family. Door to Freedom is one of these, and I was excited to review it.

Door to Freedom is actually the second book in a series by Jana Kelley. I may have read the first. This was one of those times when some of the characters and events sounded familiar, but I couldn’t quite sort out whether or not I’d actually read it. At any rate, Door to Freedom could be read with or without the first book in the series.

Review of Door to Freedom by Jana Kelley

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About the Book

Raina is a Muslim girl in Sudan. Her sister became a Christian and left home, and Raina misses her terribly. Her father refuses to talk about her. She is dead to him. Raina begins reading a Gospel of John that her sister left behind for her. She has to hide this from her father. As she reads, she sees that there is a freedom in the book, a freedom not experienced in her own religion.
Mia is a missionary wife. She and her husband are in Sudan at a job in a humanitarian aid organization. She struggles with knowing when and how to speak to the Sudanese Muslims about Christianity. When their organization comes under investigation from the Sudanese police, they must decide whether it’s safe to talk about Jesus Christ or whether they need to leave Sudan all together.
Mia and Raina will cross paths, and Raina will have the opportunity to learn more about why her sister became a Christian. Both woman will learn to trust God’s sovereignty and true freedom in the midst of their sometimes perilous situation.

My Thoughts

I have to admit that I didn’t particularly like this one. I didn’t feel as if the characters in the story were well-developed at all. I didn’t feel as if I could truly know them. There was much more action and dialogue and not much inner thoughts of the characters.
I also thought that the writing was choppy and didn’t really tie together the stories of Raina and Mia as well as it seemed from the book’s synopsis. It was hard to really see the connectedness of the stories. The events in the story didn’t seem to flow well either.
The one thing I did really like was the glimpse into the life of a strict Muslim family and culture. I know that it must be so difficult to be a missionary in that culture, to balance the desire to tell people of Jesus Christ with the need to be aware of safety issues and the desire to be considerate to the culture of the people around you. This look at life in Sudan made me keep reading even though I wasn’t crazy about the book.
I give this one three stars and a PG rating for some tense moments. You can find Door to Freedom on Amazon here and can check out a Kindle preview below.

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