Michael Stewart is a single father struggling to raise his thirteen-year-old daughter Elizabeth. One day, Michael and Elizabeth step into a root cellar in the basement of a church. The root cellar leads to first century Jerusalem during Christ’s last week. With the help of Leah, a new friend, Michael must come to terms with the past and protect Elizabeth, so both of them can make it back home.
This has got to be the hardest review for me to post. Honestly, I wanted to like the book, but I just didn’t. I will start with the good. First, I liked the idea of traveling back to Jerusalem. My second favorite part of of Necessary Heartbreak was when Michael first meets Jesus. The flashbacks of Vickie, Michael’s wife, were also entertaining. Reading about the relationship between Vickie and Michael was my favorite part about the novel. Last, I found Leah to be a great character. Something about her just intrigued me.
Now with the bad. I found most of the characters to be flat, especially Elizabeth. Looking back, the only thing I learned about her was that she was embarassed by her father. Most people can guess that by the end of the story, Elizabeth will not be as embarassed by her father anymore. I also felt that she should be slightly younger than thirteen. She seemed too whiny to be 13. Maybe 11 or 12 would have suited her better. I liked Michael more than I liked Elizabeth, but he still lacked some depth. While readers learn quite a bit about Michael’s past, I feel that there is more to him. Maybe the next two books of the trilogy will tell more, but I don’t see myself reading them.