Book Review: Door to Freedom

2 Mar

51yprx5maxl-_sx322_bo1204203200_It’s rough and it’s smooth. It’s dark and it’s light. It’s a masterpiece. It’s us. Here in Sudan. We are scared of it and drawn to it. There is an open door, and there is much opposition.

In the dusty, Islamic country of Sudan, Mia, who is raising her family in a Muslim country, has learned to boldly share her faith. Rania, the daughter of a wealthy Sudanese Arab, seeks to find the reason for her sister’s sudden disappearance. Mia holds some of the answers, but both women quickly discover they must each walk through their own doors to freedom, the freedom that only comes when you trust God’s sovereignty more than manmade security.

Part of New Hope Publishers’ line of contemporary missional fiction, Door to Freedom, the sequel to Side by Side, opens the reader’s eyes to modern-day persecution and the life of Muslims in Sudan. Based on real-life events, Door to Freedom also reveals some of the struggles that Christians face when living under Islamic law. The reader will be inspired to pray for those who are persecuted for their faith as well as for the salvation of the persecutors.

jkelley-420-pngAuthor of the captivating novel Side by Side, Jana Kelley is a Texan who hardly ever lives in Texas. Raised in Southeast Asia, Jana developed a love for cross-cultural living early in life. Her love for writing came soon after. Jana returned to Texas to attend East Texas Baptist University. She and her husband married a month after she graduated, and by their second anniversary, they were living in a remote African town. After 13 years living in Africa and the Middle East, Jana, her husband, and their three boys moved to Southeast Asia where they currently live.
Find out more about Jana at


My Impressions:

What is it like to live in a place where the free exercise of religion is non-existent? A place where belief in Jesus is dangerous? Door to Freedom, the second book by Jana Kelley, continues the story of the Westons, a family who come to Sudan to provide physical relief to the people, but who are also committed to sharing the hope and peace available through Jesus Christ. This book is an eye-opener — cultural differences, governmental harassment, and opposition from friend and foe are woven into a highly readable contemporary novel. If you want to know more about life for those on the front lines of mission work, you need to get Door to Freedom.

Two storylines run throughout Door to Freedom. Mia’s story was begun in book 1, Side by Side, and progresses as she and her husband anticpate another two year commitment to life in Sudan. On the other side of Khartoum lives Rania, the sister of Halimah who figured prominently in Side by Side. Although there is little intersection between the two women, the stories are complimentary as they show both sides of life in a Muslim country. Mia struggles to share her faith with Sudanese women, and Rania seeks peace in a dangerous place, the Gospel of John. Both women must walk through a door in obedience to find their place and purpose in God’s kingdom.

The thing I liked most about this book was the everydayness of Mia and Rania’s lives. Yes, life in Sudan is very different from my cushy life in the US, but I could easily relate to Mia’s challenge of raising her family and Rania’s desire to know the truth and also be a respectful and dutiful daughter. Door to Freedom shows the positives of the Muslim culture — family closeness and generous hospitality — but also the lies that bind believers leaving them with only a faint hope of what Allah wills for their lives. Mia finds that dependence on God’s Word is critical for her life in Sudan — a good reminder for all believers everywhere. As she and her husband Michael become more immersed in the Bible and prayer, Mia finds herself astounded — “‘It’s just we pray and pray, but I forget that God may actually do what we ask.'” (p.97). This statement spoke volumes to my heart.

Door to Freedom may be a departure for you if you usually read historical romance or romantic suspense, but it will definitely open your eyes and your heart to needs in this big world of ours.


Audience: older teens to adults.

To purchase this book, click HERE.

(Thanks to LitFuse and New Hope Publishers for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)


2 Responses to “Book Review: Door to Freedom”

  1. Sue Wendt March 4, 2017 at 10:43 am #

    I, too, felt this book was eye-opening and compelling. Also, I wanted to tell you that your own writing – the way you select the essentials of a book and present it in a refreshing way in each review is a real talent.

    • rbclibrary March 4, 2017 at 4:03 pm #

      Sue, you just made my day!! Thanks so much for your encouraging words. They make me want to do even more!! 😀

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