by Tina Ann Forkner
A riveting debut, Tethered is a story about a quiet, reclusive undertaker, Clara Marsh, who unwittingly gets swept into an unsolved murder mystery involving Precious Doe, an unidentified little girl that Clara herself compassionately prepared for burial a few years earlier. As the mystery deepens, Clara is forced to confront her own doubts about God and what happens to a soul after a body has been buried. What I found truly remarkable about Tethered was MacKinnon’s respect for faith. While this book isn’t about Christianity, I was struck that it wasn’t against it either, which I admit I was almost expecting. While some of the more haunting aspects of the novel might seem too supernatural for some readers of faith, what Tethered does is inspire the reader to believe that faith is actually possible. Sometimes if we are blessed to see it, God pulls back the veil just a little, just enough to remind us that He is here with us. It’s refreshing to see a mainstream novel pay respect to the very real struggle that humans have with faith even as we desire to believe. To its readers Tethered will hint of the very real possibility of what some of us are already blessed to know, that God exists.