Mistakes, sinful or just plain old errors in judgment, can hound us long after that single moment has passed. I’ve made my share of both, and I’ve suffered the consequences time and again.

It’s easy to get caught up in the guilt these mistakes create inside us. Even seemingly inconsequential actions can lead to days, months, or years of “what if I’d only”. Throw in the spiritual seriousness of sinful actions and those behaviors that reached far beyond us to negatively or harmfully affect others, and the possibility of crippling guilt rises.

If we fail to deal with these issues, the results can worm their way into every area of our lives for years to come.

Rachel Hamar, the main character in The Letters by C. Kevin Thompson, knows this from experience. Twenty years earlier, the actions of her, her boyfriend, and her father came together to create a perfect storm of guilt that left Rachel the lone survivor. And as the anniversary of that day approaches, Rachel still struggles to move from simply surviving the guilt to knowing freedom and learning how to really live and love again.

Her only family is her mother who is in a psychiatric center for schizophrenia due to her propensity to speak with Jesus, Mary, and Joseph on a regular basis. Rachel finds this impossible to believe, yet she has no answers for why her mother knows things she shouldn’t possibly know. Still, she is her mother, and Rachel wants to keep that connection even if it adds more stress to her already stressed life.

Her best friend is there for her too, but neither is quick to push the other forward in life. And when a series of anonymous letters start arriving for Rachel, and the investigation into their origins takes an unexpected turn, even that relationship becomes strained.

The letters are equally disturbing and comforting to Rachel and, though they don’t reference her mistakes from that night so long ago, they do consistently push those memories to the front of her mind. Concern over why she’s receiving them and the possibility that something sinister could be happening push Rachel to find out the truth. If she finds her answers, will the truth really set her free?

The Letters is an attention grabbing story about the powers of guilt and forgiveness and the great love of God for His children. I look forward to more from this author. It does contain the possible trigger themes of abortion and mental illness for those who might be sensitive to those topics.