It is so rare to find a book about religion that avoids preaching, but Melissa Walker’s newest novel "Small Town Sinners" is far from preachy. “Small Town Sinners” introduces the reader to Lacey Anne Byers, a teenage girl raised by parents firmly rooted in their deep Christian faith in a town where the large fundamentalist church is the cornerstone of society. Good girl Lacey is the opposite of a rebellious teen – she doesn’t object to her early curfew, she actually enjoys hanging out with her parents, and one of her greatest desires is to play the role of “Abortion Girl” in her church’s annual Hell House. However, a series of events – a long-lost childhood friend, Ty, moves back to town after being away for several years and Lacey’s best friend’s sister, a girl Lacey always idolized, becomes pregnant – causes Lacey to begin to question her steadfast faith.
Walker has crafted "Small Town Sinners" in a way that avoids leaning towards either a religious or anti-religious perspective. “Small Town Sinners” is an intriguing and well-done exploration of faith and what happens when life causes you to question everything you’ve ever believed. Walker’s latest is a must read, regardless of your belief system.
(And as a bonus: how awesome is that cover? Love it!)
“Small Town Sinners” will be released on July 19.