Book Review: Yielded Captive

It was a privilege for me to read “Yielded Captive,” as it was written by a colleague of mine whom I haven’t yet met.  Dalaina May is a missionary with Pioneers International in Peru.  Her book held me captive for about 48 hours.  

“Yielded Captive” weaves throughout its compelling plot line the age-old question of evil, or more specifically, “How can a good God allow bad things to happen--especially to those who love Him?”  I found May’s answer to that question in the conclusion of the book to be really satisfying. 

The book’s main character, Allison Carter, is a missionary in the Peruvian jungle, along with her husband and baby son Isaac.  One day she and Isaac are kidnapped by a nearby tribe and her husband is left presumably dead.  The story line follows Allison and Isaac into her new surroundings and home.  As a captive woman she is forced into an arduous tribal lifestyle, abusive marriage, and fight for her very life.  Initially, she is barely driven to survive in order to not forsake Isaac in this new and godless place.  As she gains strength and sees the Spirit bringing new life to her community she is increasingly driven to see the Gospel take root and multiply.  

As a missionary mom (albeit not in the jungles of Peru!) I found myself identifying repeatedly with Allison.  May’s exploration of all that Allison must’ve felt wasn’t flippant or cut short.  Rather, through the events, the reader ponders hatred, forgiveness, justice, true love, patience, sacrifices one is willing to make to convey the Gospel, and ultimately yielding to the one true God.

I found the ending to be surprising and rich.  The characters, through their actions, convey how someone in the most difficult of times can be yielded to the Lord.  The truths conveyed were edifying to me and honoring to God Himself. 

I would especially recommend this book to women who love Jesus (or her dear friends who wonder why she loves Jesus).  It would be a terrific summer read that won’t leave you feeling betrayed by unexpected grit in a lesser novel.  You will feel encouraged, challenged, and convicted in your own walk.  You will come away from this book with a stronger drive to be yielded to Him yourself, as well as fresh motivation to lay down your own life for the sake of the Gospel.