Veiled Freedom was a great book. The beginning was a little slow for me with many terms I was unfamiliar (both military terms and some regional/Afgani words); however, once I got past page 40 or 50, I was totally hooked. It was one I didn't want to put down. I read well into the night and carried the book around with me during the day so I could read it whenever I had the chance!
Amy Mallory travels to Afganistan to work for an aid organization focusing on helping women and children in need. She wants to help change the world and spread God's love. Amy is the strong Christian character in the book; her love for the women and children in her care raises questions from her employee Jamil. He sees truth and authenticity in her, that he hasn't seen in others.
While reading this, I found myself praying for people like the characters in the book: women who are treated as inferiors, countries where you cannot discuss Jesus freely, and missionaries and aid workers who put themselves at risk to help others, to love others.
I do have one complaint dealing with the delivery of the Gospel. Jamil questions Amy about Jesus and his martyrdom, but they do not discuss his resurrection. While he is reading the Bible, there is a brief paragraph about Jamil's thoughts, and during the conversation Amy does touch on Jesus being both man and God. We never hear Jamil's response to this fact. Later, when Jamil is struggling with how to live, he reasons that if it is honorable to live as the prophet Muhammed did, then wouldn't it also be honorable to live as the prophet Jesus. It seems as though he embraced Jesus's teachings but not necessarily Him as Savior. He only felt that love would do more for his country than war. While this is a great beginning, and I am sure that often this is a step toward a relationship with Jesus, following the teaching of Jesus is not enough. I would have appreciated a stronger salvation message.
That being said, I still thoroughly enjoyed the book. It was fast-paced, with mystery and suspense, as well as great characters and interpersonal relationships. I became attached to many and would love to see a follow-up book continuing both Amy's story and Jamil's: one that gives Jamil a real relationship with Jesus. I'd even be interested in reading more about Soraya, Hamida and Rasheed, Steve and Phil, or the women at New Hope.
(UPDATE ON FEB 12)I have actually now heard, from Jeannette on Amazon, that a sequel is in the works, although it may be a while. Until then I will look forward to reading more about these great characters and move on to her other books (Betrayed, Crossfire, and The DMZ).