Missing Issac by Valerie Fraser Luesse

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There was another South in the 1960s, one far removed from the marches and bombings and turmoil in the streets that were broadcast on the evening news. It was a place of inner turmoil, where ordinary people struggled to right themselves on a social landscape that was dramatically shifting beneath their feet. This is the world of Valerie Fraser Luesse’s stunning debut, Missing Isaac.

It is 1965 when black field hand Isaac Reynolds goes missing from the tiny, unassuming town of Glory, Alabama. The townspeople’s reactions range from concern to indifference, but one boy will stop at nothing to find out what happened to his unlikely friend. White, wealthy, and fatherless, young Pete McLean has nothing to gain and everything to lose in his relentless search for Isaac. In the process, he will discover much more than he bargained for. Before it’s all over, Pete–and the people he loves most–will have to blur the hard lines of race, class, and religion. And what they discover about themselves may change some of them forever.


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Title: Missing Issac

Series (if applicable): N/A

Author: Valerie Fraser Luesse

Publisher (if applicable): Revell

Genre(s): Christian, Historical Fiction, Christian Fiction, Fiction

My Rating: four stars

Recommended Age: 13+


My Review:

Honestly the book wasn’t what I expected, but I loved it!

A little after the beginning, with Pete being a teenager, I kept thinking he was still ten. The way he said things made him seem younger. But as he got older, I really enjoyed getting to know him and I carried the pain he went through. The ending really did give us closure and that can be difficult to pull off.

Dovey was just the sweetest girl ever! From the moment she met Pete, I had a feeling that something would come of them being friends. I could really connect with her, and that really made me love her more.

The story was very interesting, a little boring at times, but I pretty much couldn’t put the book down. There was some romance, but not anything horrible. The only descriptions there really were relating to romance would be not detailed kisses throughout the book and some attraction between characters.

Overall, the characters were simply divine, and the story just reminded me of something Janette Oke would write, in a good way. This story had a mix of mystery (but not really one you could figure out per se), a little romance, and a historical feel to it. There was a lot of heartache and pain in this book, but it also was so sweet and refreshing to read something so realistic. I can really see this book being a kind of a “Janette Oke” classic, if you get what I mean. I’m looking forward to more books by Valerie. I totally recommend Missing Issac!

The only content warnings I can think of would be the romance, the mysterious disappearance of Issac (which goes on to be a bit heavy on what happened to him), and some scary scenes.


I received this book from Revell in exchange for an honest review. I was not obligated to provide a positive one.

This review was written in my own words and opinions.

Check out my Disclosure and Policies page.

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