Saturday, February 27, 2010

Ransomed by Els Van Hierden

book_cover_img Hundreds of thousands of orphans have been left homeless and abandoned as a result of the fall of the Communist era. Left to fend for themselves or locked up in state orphanages, the children have little hope for the future. Yet in the middle of suicide, alcoholism, and drug abuse, hope emerges. David Valensky, a successful US businessman who has experienced terrible personal loss, pours his life into reaching the homeless teens on the streets of Perm, Russia. But as the ministry grows, tragedy unfolds, threatening its very existence.

Karina Svetlana, a morose orphanage director with a dark past, meets David during his orphanage outreach. Will David be able to reach her with the Gospel and break the chains that hold her captive? And will their fledging love survive the storm that envelopes David's ministry?

Jared and Vanessa Williams travel to Russia to adopt a child, excited to bring home a new son. Can they cope with what they find in Russia and the devastating news that leaves their faith shattered?

Based on the author's personal experience in Russia, this novel will not only captivate and intrigue, but change your heart.

author Els Van Hierden has had a life-long passion for writing, which resulted in the publication of her first novel Ransomed.

In 2005, Els and her husband Edward traveled to Russia for the adoption of their fifth child. As the year drew to a close, and their first attempt at adoption had failed, Els asked God to use her difficult experience to inspire adoptive parents and to help orphans. Following this prayer, the plot of Ransomed was born in her heart. During the writing of this novel, Els and her husband returned to Russia to complete the adoption of their wonderful son, Mark.

Since then, Els and her family had the opportunity to travel to Romania for five weeks and serve there with a mission team. Els' goal is to see kids in poverty blessed with food, clothing, and an education, but above all with the Good News of Jesus Christ.

Els and her family live in Lethbridge, Canada, where they own an equestrian centre. She oversees the day to day operations of the centre, homeschools two of her five children, and is a Certified Equine Therapist. She is certified through Strategic Life Alignment as a conference speaker, helping people find God's call for their life. Els enjoys speaking to groups, and working with women. Els and her family like camping in the mountains with their horses, spending time at their ranch, and traveling.

I picked up this book during a time in my life when I was having trouble getting into any other books.  (Those who are familiar with me and my blog know this doesn’t happen very often!)  Ransomed pulled me right in! I was hooked after just the first few pages and found that I could hardly put this book down.  I read it in just a few short days, staying up late to finish it. 

Though Ransomed is the first novel written by Els Van Hierden, it certainly doesn’t read that way! It’s very well-written.  The characters are easy to understand and relate to and the descriptions of the area have you easily imagining it in your mind as you read. 

I was especially drawn to the character of David – he’s been through so much trial and hardship in his life, yet he continues to look to God for guidance and to seek His will for his life.  This isn’t always easy to do – especially when it means turning your back on a new love,  or on the only life you’ve ever known to serve God.

Being a fellow adoptive parent, I also enjoyed the adoption story that was taking place as sort of the “backburner storyline” in this book.  I could relate to Jared and Vanessa and the various ups and downs of the emotional roller coaster of adoption. 

I will recommend and share this book and will certainly consider reading future books by this author.

NOTE: This book was provided to me by The Winepress Group in exchange for my honest thoughts on it.

1 comment:

Els Van Hierden said...


Thank you for your review of my book. I am glad you enjoyed it!


Els Van Hierden

Related Posts with Thumbnails