The Girl Behind the Red Rope by Ted Dekker and Rachelle Dekker is excellent! The story quickly drew me in and I read the whole thing in less than 24 hours.
The conflict introduced in the opening scene pulls the reader in. At the heart of it, is a story between good and evil and how knowing what is good and what is evil, is often hard to do.
It is also a story of what happens when ruled by fear. It demonstrates how easy it is for someone to influence a group of people by playing into one’s fears.
Grace is the main character. She was introduced into a belief system in a very eye-opening way as a young girl and told if she didn’t follow the rules of this belief system, she would die. A decade later, those beliefs begin to be challenged. To help her family, she goes against the rules of her community and risks her own safety.
The antagonists are the community leader Rose and a figure she is devoted to named Sylous. Steeped in rules and order, Grace’s disobedience threatens them. Influenced by Sylous, Rose twists her beliefs to make it okay to do the things he requires.
The characters are believable and the dialogue is natural, both spoken and in thought.
The pace of the story is swift with tension rising steadily until the final climax between truth and lies, freedom and fear, good and evil.