I recently read “Counted Worthy” by Leah E. Good. It was a really good book! It takes place in the future, in America… an America we’re probably heading towards if nothing changes.
Heather Stone’s mother was shot by a policeman when found delivering re-printed Bibles to other members of the underground church, and though no one blames her, Heather knows it’s her fault.
After Mom died, my books kept me grounded. I had distanced myself from the people and activities that had once filled every free moment. I cut as many ties to the underground network as I could. I attended church because conscience compelled me. I continued to smuggle Bibles because I couldn’t help myself. Everything else, I shoved into the past (6).
The trouble starts again when the Agency tracks a smuggled Bible to the Stones’ house–a Bible Heather brought there. Her father tells her to run and stays to be arrested… so Heather can escape.
Having already lost her mom, she can’t handle the pain of losing her dad too. Forced to leave the house she grew up in, Heather struggles to live without them; helped by her devoted, very protective, “brother-friend” (58) Bryce; an old friend of her parents, Miss Lucy; and other members of the underground church.
Bryce promised Heather’s father he would take care of her if anything happened, and encourages her to just stay safe and not try too hard to help her dad.
Laying low isn’t getting us anywhere (124).
Heather decides to act. She starts with a simple attempt to bribe policemen into freeing her dad, and finally ends with deciding whether or not to execute a desperate plan that could save her father and make the people press the government to give them back their rights, or only hasten his sentence and send herself and everyone helping her to the same death.
Spencer and I had read Miss Good’s blog for a while when she self-published “Counted Worthy”, and I was afraid that having “talked” back and forth in the comments with her would keep me from getting “into” the story, especially being an author myself–it did not! At least once while I was reading I stopped and reminded myself of that to calm myself down! It’s very good, but very intense.
I usually read books that take place in an earlier time period, but I liked that this was more modern because I could relate to Heather so well.
This book took all the fear out of death for me. I mean, I wasn’t just cowering around fretting about the day I die–but it really made me think about it and realize that death truly is only the beginning (228).
Another way this book inspired me is that it made me want to memorize more scripture. I guess I’ve memorized a lot of long passages, but it made me want to learn shorter sections and keep them memorized. Near the end of the book the main character gets in a conversation with a police office who starts asking her questions about her faith, and Heather just starts rattling off Bible-verses. It makes a better argument somehow when you can actually quote God’s word and not just summarize.
“Let no man deceive himself,” I quoted. “If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise.” The man squinted at me. I smiled, glad for the many hours spent memorizing verses (209).
“Counted Worthy” is the first novel that Miss Good has published, but she is obviously ready: the plot is very mature (but not complicated), and the writing-style is enjoyable. I especially loved the dialogue!
You can purchase your own copy from Miss Good’s blog, which I linked to above.
Miracles could still happen, right? We served the same God as Daniel, David, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. We also served the same God Paul and Stephen did (188).