I became an Emily Conrad fan when I read a pre-published novel inspired by the Biblical story of Joseph. In fact, if you know me in person, you may have heard me praising it and her writing style. Emily has a way of phrasing and crafting characters that makes me want to prop up my feet and become immersed in her world. So when I learned she had an earlier story inspired by Mary and Joseph, I had to get my hands on it!
Here’s the Justice back cover copy:
Jake thought he was meant to marry Brooklyn, but now she’s pregnant, and he had nothing to do with it. Brooklyn can’t bring herself to name the father as she wrestles with questions about what her pregnancy means and how it will affect her relationship with Jake. If Harold Keen, the man who owns the bookstore across from Jake’s coffee shop, has anything to do with it, the baby will ruin them both.
Obviously, this contemporary story strays from the Biblical account, but Emily explores the feelings which transcend culture and time and move straight to the heart. The themes of redemption, justice, and surrender were the main thrusts of this story, and you’ll find meaningful truths woven into these pages.
Although I’ve never personally dealt with rape or a resulting pregnancy, I connected with Brooklyn right away. She approaches this difficult circumstance with a deep faith, desire to please God and do the right thing that’s inspiring. And Jake’s longing for justice, and how he holds to his plans verses Gods was so relatable. I loved how surrendering leads him to true freedom. Exactly what I’ve found to be true within my own life.
The supporting characters added to the overall story—the villain who threatens their happily ever after and the best friend who keeps them both on track. Harold who is modeled after Herod, who persecuted Christians, reminded me again of how some things remain consistent across time and place. That plot line also adds a suspense thread that I adored.
Emily Conrad lives in Wisconsin with her husband and two rescue dogs. She loves Jesus and enjoys road trips to the mountains, crafting stories, and drinking coffee. (It’s no coincidence her debut novel is set mostly in a coffee shop!) She offers free short stories on her website and loves to connect with readers on her website, Facebook, Twitter,and Instagram.
I’m leaving you with some quotes I love from Emily regarding Justice.
“That God is in the midst of our trials, even when things are at their blackest. He is in control, He is present, and He is good. Zephaniah 3:5 is the verse that probably best sums Justice up.”
“Things we all have to deal with: revenge versus forgiveness, people failing us, and conflict in the church. These show up in my fiction because they’re in my life, too. Believers are forgiven, but still flawed, and I think it’s important for fiction to reflect that.”
“Mary and Joseph’s lives reminded me that we serve the same God today. God is present and active in our lives, He provides for us and gave His son in order to redeem us. With Him, all things are possible, and we are never alone in any trial we face.”
For a full interview with Emily, check out my friend Amanda Wen’s blog.