Many of you will remember Erin Healy as being Ted Dekker's primary editor before becoming an award winning, bestselling author in her own right. I haven't read all of Erin's work, but I've read enough to describe what I've read as speculative/supernatural fiction. She's a terrific writer. I'm not one that gravitates toward speculative novels, but I definitely appreciate when an author interjects the supernatural from a godly perspective into a story. If done well, readers get a picture of either the terrifying horror of the enemy of our souls or the unequaled boundless and benevolent love of our Creator. For me, regarding speculative fiction, the genre sometimes takes too many liberties when trying to mesh the speculative with the supernatural. I'll stretch to a point, but then I'm done.
Afloat by Erin Healy takes an ensemble group of characters thrown together by an outrageous circumstance of an earthly and heavenly collision. Between foul play and foul weather, the beautiful construction of a "floating" apartment development on a scenic river designed and engineered by Vance Nolan for the financier Tony Dean is threatened by a ravaging impromptu flood and a crane truck catastrophe. Taking a look at each character's perspectives and motives in this situation is a study of the human psyche and heart at its best and more prevalently at its worst. Add a blind man Zeke with his rescued assist-dog Pit Bull Ziggy who's petrified of water but accompanies his master and a friend in a small boat at the start of the storm to get a message to Vance. The connection between Vance and Zeke is slowly revealed in flashbacks of Vance's life.
Life and death, murder and mayhem coagulate during the scary storm where daylight disappears in the middle of the day, rations are combined, a child experiences the supernatural, and Zeke sees visions. There are twists and turns and secret connections culminating near the end of the story which grows more intense when the group is effectively cut off from all knowledge of what has happened.
The ending is unexpected but adds a convenient solution and a fitting conclusion.
I will leave you with this sample of Erin's impressive writing skills:
Rain dripped from their noses and chins. It flattened hair and clothing and clung to everyone's flaws. It coated their thick-skinned natures in a high gloss.
Father, you know Erin's heart and soul, and I ask that you continue to bless her and her family as she works for your glory. Please give her those stories you have just for her to tell and watch over her, keeping her safe from all harm. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.