When Through Deep Waters
By: Rachelle Dekker
Tyndale House Publishers, 2018
When Through Deep Waters tells the story of a young woman named Alicen who goes through a terrible tragedy and loses everything she has. Her life is just a shell, and she comes to realize that life was lacking long before her tragedy. She can’t get away from the guilt. She begins what she thinks is stress-induced hallucinating, hearing voices, seeing things that others don’t see. When others see what is happening, they assume that she has gone crazy just like her grandmother before her. Alicen is so desperate to escape what she thinks she has done that she attempts to take her life and ends up in a mental hospital. Upon release she, along with her best friend, settle into a summer home from their childhood, hoping that good memories and friendship will take the place of the bad and help Alicen heal.
Alicen struggles not only with her perception of her guilt, but with her relationship with her mother who is overbearing and controlling. Thinking it will help her with her guilt and struggles, she enrolls in an outpatient program at the local mental hospital. She is eventually convinced by her mother and others that she needs to be committed, and nearly loses her life as the result of the dark thinking of the director of the hospital who has hidden mental problems and spirit guides of her own. Through it all, spirits in the form of children will not leave Alicen alone, tempting her to follow them to spiritual enlightenment, what is in the story one “form” of spiritual salvation – salvation from her guilt?
Will Alicen empty herself, give up control and follow those spirit guides? Will she give up her sanity in her attempt to find peace? And how will it affect her relationship with her mother and those around her?
Rachelle Dekker is a daughter of popular author Ted Dekker. Following in her father’s footsteps, her story has dark elements, twists and turns. In When Through Deep Waters Ms. Dekker takes license with spirituality, or rather the true way of salvation. In truth, there are no spirit guides who lead you to salvation. The Bible states quite the opposite – John 14:6 says, “Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.'” And although the Bible speaks of the Holy Spirit, He does not appear as spirit children or any other compelling form.
I struggled with whether or not I should recommend this book because it is interesting, but because of the use of the spirit children drawing Alicen to “salvation” I just can’t recommend When Through Deep Waters. I find it irresponsible when Christians give the idea, even in fiction, that there are other ways of salvation.
This book was provided to me by Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for my honest review.