Paula Huston’s novel A Land Without Sin is a gripping spiritual journey set in Mexico in 1993 amid escalating civil conflict. Eva, a seasoned American photojournalist, treks through jungle caves and guerilla territories in search of her missing brother. Eva loves Stephen dearly, but she is unsettled by his deep Christian faith and by hints of family secrets he has withheld.
In a brilliant move, Huston gives her reader immediate access to Stephen by interspersing Eva’s first-person narration with letters he wrote before his disappearance. “What am I, a would-be monk, a lover of the desert fathers and contemplative prayer, doing in the middle of this hotbed?” he asks in one letter. While this is the question driving Eva’s mission, the story itself is a daring plunge into life’s central mysteries, including the nature of evil, the challenge of friendship, and the complex application of mercy in a broken world. (Wipf and Stock/Slant)