I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Source: the author
Daughters of Men
by A.R. Draeger
published April 5, 2015
Devastated by the loss of her son, Rebecca is struggling to salvage her marriage to Jacob, a cold and detached pastor. When he goes on a men’s hunting retreat and does not return on time, Rebecca fears the worst. Jacob arrives three days late, citing bad weather and poor cell service as the reasons none of the men called home. Jacob appears healthy, but Rebecca is concerned with the deep gashes on his arms and is even more alarmed when he tells her that he stitched them himself. As the weeks pass, Rebecca begins to wonder what happened in the mountains. Jacob is not the same man he was before. While she is relieved he is no longer detached, she cannot comprehend why he’s become so flirtatious, so sexually aggressive. So obsessive. Jacob’s odd behavior mounts, and the actions of the men who joined Jacob on the retreat grow more and more strange, convincing Rebecca that the men who came home are not the men who left. Who are these pretenders… and what have they done with her husband?
I’m fairly new to A.R. Draeger’s books, but I have been nothing but astounded ever since. With just a few words, she quickly moved to the top of my new addictions. Now if only she could write fast enough to keep up with my demands! Her mermaid novella, Of Ocean and Ash, went far beyond my expectations, so I had high hopes for Daughters of Men.
Amber did not disappoint! I didn’t know quite what to expect from reading the synopsis. It sounds mysterious and evasive, and I was excited to find out what was going on. The further I got into the story, the darker and more foreboding it was. I was being pulled into this story and I had way of knowing how things would turn out in the end. What I love about Amber’s stories is that they don’t shy away from serious topics just because they’re hard to face. Rather, they tend to deal with them head on. In DoM, Rebecca’s son has died, and she is dealing with an unimaginable grief. I was already crying before I could get through the prologue. Knowing that Amber’s not afraid to write about death, it’s safe to say that not all the characters will come through this story unscathed, mentally or physically. It’s unpredictable and raw. I find it almost therapeutic to put myself in that state of mind while reading.
I do want to touch on the religious aspect of the story. I’m agnostic, and I don’t like to be preached to about religion. Having said that, even though the main character is a pastor’s wife, I never felt like religion was overpowering. I felt like it added a deeper dimension to the character and plot that would have been lacking otherwise.
Although it isn’t listed as a series, I have it on good authority that there will be more to come! I was soooo grateful to hear that, because the way that the story left off, I don’t think I could sleep at night knowing that it’s over. Except now I’m left wondering what will come next…
A.R. (Amber) Draeger resides in rural Texas with her husband, Josh, and son, Logan. When not writing or reading, she is watching reality TV shows or tromping through the nearby woods.