Item description for My Hands Came Away Red by Lisa McKay...
Overview Inspired by happy visions of building churches and seeing beautiful beaches, Cori signs up to take a mission trip to Indonesia during the summer after her senior year of high school, but five weeks after her arrival, a sectarian religious conflict that has been simmering for years flames to life with deadly results on the nearby island of Ambon. Original.
Cori signs up to take a mission trip to Indonesia during the summer after her senior year of high school. Inspired by happy visions of building churches and seeing beautiful beaches, she gladly escapes her complicated love life back home. Five weeks after their arrival, a sectarian and religious conflict that has been simmering for years flames to life with deadly results on the nearby island of Ambon. Within days, the church building the team had constructed is in ashes, its pastor and fifty villagers are dead, and the six terrified teenagers are stranded in the mountainous jungle with only the pastor's teenage son to guide them to safety. Ultimately, Cori's emotional quest to rediscover hope proves as arduous as the physical journey home.
From Publishers Weekly In this fast-paced, thought-provoking debut novel, McKay, a psychologist who works with humanitarian relief, explores injustice, religious reconciliation, suffering and faith through the eyes of an 18-year-old girl whose mission trip goes tragically awry. For Cori and a team of Christian teens, building a church in Indonesia sounds like a fun project. After an overly long prologue, McKay describes how they journey to the island of Seram and bond with the Indonesian villagers. However, even as they put the finishing touches on the newly built church, Muslim and Christian tensions flare, culminating in a horrific tragedy witnessed by Cori and her friends. They flee through the mountainous jungle, hoping to escape the escalating hostilities. McKay's carefully chosen words, devoid of unnecessary sentiment, lend power to her story. The external hardships the characters face on their trek are secondary to the internal struggles they battle over how a loving God could let terrible things happen; and why their sacrificial choice to give up a summer to help others would cost them more than they ever dreamed. While written from a Christian perspective, McKay gives an evenhanded treatment to Muslims, showing that violence and hatred transcend religious boundaries. This is one of Christian fiction's best novels of the year. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
Awards and Recognitions My Hands Came Away Red by Lisa McKay has received the following awards and recognitions -
Christy Awards - 2008 Nominee - Suspense category
Citations And Professional Reviews My Hands Came Away Red by Lisa McKay has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Publishers Weekly - 07/09/2007 page 33
CBA Retailers - 09/01/2007 page 76
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Lisa McKay is an author and a psychologist who specializes in stress, trauma and resilience. Her first novel, My Hands Came Away Red, was published in 2007, and her essays have appeared in a number of magazines. She currently lives in Laos with her husband and son.
Reviews - What do customers think about My Hands Came Away Red?
Great book set in the Ambon riots, not your average Christian fiction! Mar 22, 2010
I loved this book. As another reviewer mentioned, Christian fiction can be fluffy. This book about a teen mission trip that ends up in the middle of religious conflict in Ambon, Indonesia, is certainly not fluffy. It's a dramatic, page-turning story that allows the characters to struggle and ask very difficult questions, sometimes without the need to really answer them. She allows the story and the journey to be messy and not fully resolved.
The story was also immensely personal for me, as I grew up in Indonesia and had friends caught and evacuated out of these riots as well. This made the fictional characters very real to me, and the suffering portrayed was rather intense! McKay didn't just set the novel in a random conflict, she really effectively describes the area, from the weather to the wildlife to the Indonesian language to the complicated political and religious situation. It was very accurate, so you can count on learning some history while being riveted by a good story.
amazing book! Jul 15, 2009
This book was the best book I've read in a really long time. Last summer I actually went on a mission trip with the same organization that the author based her story on and it was like de ja vu. My leader got really sick and had to be trucked out to a hospital but thankfully we were in Zambia, not Indonesia so nothing bad happened! but this book is really intense and emotional and can not be read lightly. It makes you laugh, cry and everything in between and you really get caught up in the characters lives. If you're looking for a good read, this is it!
Well-Written and Worthwhile Mar 30, 2009
This book was definitely well written and transported me to the setting in Indonesia. I felt keenly for the main character (Cori) and her friends, and the book caused me to consider the world outside my own.
However, it ended with the main character still struggling deeply to reconcile what she had seen, and I felt like her struggle with hard theological truth would have been more stunning had it gone deeper and some more evident change had taken place in her character (other than just Post Traumatic Stress and doubt in God). In the end, she seemed somewhat at peace with God, but still very unsettled. Left me hanging.
Definitely a worthwhile read though. Very thought provoking. Kudos to McKay on this well crafted work. I look forward to reading more.
One of the best books I've ever read! Dec 26, 2008
Review by Gigi Hoffman
Eighteen-year-old Cori wanted to get away after her high school graduation. Things were complicated and confusing with her boyfriend, Scott, so she signed up to go on a ten-week missions trip to build a church on a small island in Indonesia.
After several weeks on the island, the church is completed, but an event leaves the group of teenagers away from their team leader and his wife for a few days. No biggie. However, during those couple days, a conflict that has been festering for years erupts between Muslim and Christian villages on a nearby island. The result? The new church gets burnt to the ground, the villagers are mercilessly slaughtered, and the teens are stranded in the forest with the pastor's seventeen-year-old son.
The group must hike through the forest, find a way off the island, and get to the airport on the same island where the political and religious violence is occurring. The team goes through many trials and difficulties, questioning all the things they thought they knew.
This has to be one of the best books I've ever read (and I read a lot). Ms. McKay made the characters incredibly realistic. They questioned and doubted their personal beliefs; they didn't just accept things and be happy. It was deep, thought-provoking, and beautifully written. A must, must, must read for everyone!
AMAZING....couldnt put it down!!! I WANT MORE! Dec 17, 2008
Amazing book. I could not put it down and found myself sad when it came to an end! I can not wait for more from this author! HIGHLY recommend.