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A Seahorse in the Thames

by Susan Meissner
284 pages, Romance
Reviewed by Nienna

Fairly clean, non-intense romance and mystery with unbiblical worldview.

Plot

"Stephen's wounded body lies just inches from me... and all I can think is, 'So this is what it is like to fall in love.'"

Alexa Poole comes from a broken home. Her parents refuse to talk to each other, her twin sister has not come home from England in four years, and her older sister Rebecca, the victim of a mysterious car accident, has been in a group home for seventeen years with the brain capacity of a twelve year old.

When Rebecca disappears, questions about the past and fears for the future come to the surface. In the midst of this tragedy Alexa knows it's foolish for her to fall in love, especially with a sick man she barely knows. But can Stephen's strength and love help her to discover the truth and bring her family closer together again?

Morality

Mixed. The characters believe in courtesy and politeness. Looking out for other people is commended. Alexa learns to love despite the fact that love brings pain. The characters believe that it is wrong to get one's self-worth from being needed by others. Children are highly valued. A major lesson Alexa learns is forgiveness.

It is said one can't help romantically loving someone. Fornication is not portrayed as wrong, though stupid if you don't actually love the person. A Christian gets into a romantic relationship with a non-Christian. The thrust of the book's message is that the ultimate good is to be happy, so if something makes you happy, do it.

Spiritual Content

Stephen is a Christian. He refers to God several times and gives his testimony. His church is mentioned a few times as being very involved in his life. Alexa reads a Bible and learns that Jesus died personally for her to make her a new person and that He uses circumstances to shape us as He wants.

Violence

A man falls off a roof and breaks a couple limbs. A baby with only half a heart died a few hours after birth. One girl is killed and another permanently injured by a car crash. A main character has brain cancer, and the possibility of death is discussed. A man has been killed in a fistfight. Only the first and last things mentioned are at all described, and those briefly.

Drug and Alcohol Content

The characters drink moderate amounts of wine once or twice and take pain medication.

Sexual Content

Alexa had sexual relationships previously, and she describes her feelings about that. She mentions that her neighbor only likes women for physical reasons. Another character has a child outside of wedlock, and the action that led to it is never condemned. A past adultery has a role in the story. Alexa describes her desire to be embraced by a man. Two characters who are in love spend a lot of time at his house, and she washes his laundry for him. There are a few kisses.

Crude or Profane Language or Content

H**k and d*rn are used a couple times. It is stated that various people cussed. Underwear is mentioned.

Conclusion

Though it contains romance and mystery, this story is really about family and finding hope in the midst of hopelessness. The characters are well drawn, each with faults and desires. While the pacing is gentle, there are enough questions and excitement to keep the pages turning.

While there are some valuable themes in "A Seahorse in the Thames," such as forgiveness and God's purpose, I found them to be swallowed up by the worldview that one's personal happiness is most important.

Fun Score: 4.5
Values Score: 3
Written for Age: adult

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