The Wonder Of All Things
Harlequin MIRA, Sep 30 2014, $24.95
At the Fall Festival in Stone Temple, North Carolina, former resident Matt Cooper entertains the locals with flying stunts when his plane sputters and crashes. Cooper dies, but the crowd miraculously survives. Sheriff Macon Campbell finds his thirteen year old daughter Ava and her BFF Wash trapped under rubble. Ava touches Wash’s severe wounds and a second miracle occurs when the teen heals instantly while someone records the event on a cell phone.
The recording goes viral leading to hordes arriving in Stone Temple to glimpse the “Miracle Child” or obtain a cure. However, the physical cost to Ava begins to appear as each miracle weakens her until she is hospitalized. Trying to avoid any more damage to her body, Ava soon has a Hobson’s choice when Wash learns he has leukemia.
Once again dealing with the impact of divine miracles on a small-town (see The Returned, the basis for the Resurrection television series), Jason Mott provides a poignant novel that looks deeply into the responsibilities towards others and the rights of one vs. the needs of the many. The sidebar focus on the woes of support characters detracts from the otherwise fabulous storyline; as Ava is a great protagonist who wants to do the right thing to help those suffering especially her Wash; but the cost she pays for being the Good Samaritan increasingly seems to be her life.