Genre: Biography, Christianity, Inspirational

Length: 384 pages

Release: 2/24/12

Cost: $9.99 on Kindle, $13.21 paperback, $37.88 Hardcover, (used mass market $0.10+)

NOTES: Recommended reading for Christians (or biography lovers)


In the Presence of My Enemies
by Gracia Burnham

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I mentioned before that I attended the Voice of the Martyrs conference this year. One of the featured speakers was Gracia Burnham, whose story is frightening and compelling. Much of the world has heard about her and her husband’s capture by militants in the early 2000s. This book is a first-hand account of the horrors they went through and how Gracia escaped.

Although I knew the ultimate outcome of the story because of her presentation, I felt myself hoping that somehow, the story would end differently than I knew. Of course, it didn’t, but the journey along the way was compelling: from eating repulsive food, stealing clothes and necessities, not having glasses to see, to difficulties with menstruation, forced marriage, murders, and gun battles, this story was all the more horrifying because it is true. It left no details out, so the reader is able to fully experience the trial this couple faced.

In terms of Christianity, the book did a wonderful job explaining the tension between Islam and Christianity, Gracia’s struggle with remaining faithful, and the way the faith community responded to their capture. There’s a clear Gospel focus throughout the book, but I don’t believe that it is preachy or excludes those who are not Christian. I don’t think it’s be difficult to read this book without believing the same things as the author.

I highly recommend this book to people who enjoy memoirs, non-fiction, thrillers, or Christian themes.

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