Tragedy comes to Father John. His mother and sister, healers living together apart form the village, are accused by the villagers of witchcraft. Several men of the village take it on themselves to rid the village of this satanic influence. John's mother is killed, burned to death in her house. His sister is raped. The horror of it almost causes John to lose his reason. But the community is there with prayers and love.
This is another book about the power of community. Although each man is imperfect, they are able to comfort each other, strengthen their brothers, and through prayer bring someone back from the crucible of tragedy. The characters in this book are wonderful. No one is perfect, but they're real people; people you'd like to know. I also love the plot. This is not a tidy book where everything is made right. As in real life, people go through a horrible experience and end up stronger, but they're still human with all the faults of humanity.
I highly recommend this book, particularly if you're dealing with grief or loss. Like the title says, the hour before dawn can be the darkest part of the night, but the golden light of dawn is coming. This story holds out the hope of healing from even the worst tragedy and shows how people can help and strengthen each other with God's love.
I reviewed this book for Crossway publshers.