Review of By A Thread, by Chris Allen
A young, gay missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is just finishing up his service when a set of circumstances out of his control changes the course of his life forever. Kevin is relatively inexperienced in life and still in denial about his sexuality. Then events transpire to change his world and the world overnight. He is pressed into the service of the CIA by his church and his country.
How can he refuse to help his country and his church when the U.S Constitution is “hanging by a thread”? This is a phrase familiar to members of the Mormon Church. So off Kevin goes, committed to do what he has been asked to do by those he holds in great esteem. What follows are Kevin’s attempts to “do what is right” and his insight that those in authority are not always who they seem. He learns to think for himself and follow his heart along the way.
In a nutshell, I enjoyed By A Thread! It has an attention-grabbing plot that seems even more plausible given today’s political atmosphere and extreme agendas. The complex plot reminded me of some of John Grisham’s earlier books, although this book does not have as much information regarding the details of the conspiracy to over-take the United States government that I would have enjoyed.
The main character was likable, making the reader care about how he will be able to resolve all the conflicts in his life. Having a Mormon background, made it easy [for me] to believe in Kevin’s naiveté and denial of what was happening around him. His blind obedience to LDS Church leaders was also easily accepted, in fact expected.
On a personal note, I would have also enjoyed more descriptive detail about the characters and the setting. I like to be able to form a picture of the characters and locations in a book as well as the intricacies of the plot. That being said, I would definitely recommend this book to anyone. It is entertaining and well written.
Chris Allen was raised Catholic; she converted to the Mormon Church at age 20. She subsequently married and bore five children. After 20 years, she divorced, went back to college to get an Accounting degree, and became a single, working mother. Later she met the woman who is now her soul-mate; they have been together for almost 14 years and were married in San Francisco in 2004, and again in 2008.