3 out of 4 stars
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"When you finally come out of your wilderness, make sure you've got the power that comes from standing strong in trials and believing in the goodness of God despite what appearances are."
Illustrating that life is stranger than fiction, Karen Marie Dion chronicles her experiences firsthand in her second book, Into the Wilderness: One Woman's Extraordinary Journey through Corruption, Lies, and Betrayal. After the end of her marriage and with virtually no financial support from her ex-husband, Dion seeks to build a new life for herself and support her two children. When she starts a new business to provide for her family, she inadvertently becomes embroiled in a web of small-town corruption. Although Dion takes appropriate legal action, the tenants who are destroying her property and owe her thousands of dollars seem to be beyond the reach of the law. After Dion's attorney advises her to file a complaint with the Attorney General, she becomes a Judicial Conduct witness, and despite the FBI's involvement, she fears for her safety. With heartfelt candor, Dion recounts her wilderness journey and the faith that sustained her when all else failed.
Dion's intriguing narrative of the corruption she faced is compelling, shocking, and hard to imagine. It is beyond admirable that she consistently models integrity despite being treated unfairly in both business and personal relationships. This is not to imply that she sugarcoats the shady dealings or holds in her feeling; she appropriately expresses frustration, suspicion, and anger. Dion quotes the words of Jesus: "I am sending you out as sheep among wolves. Therefore, be innocent as doves but shrewd as serpents."
Although Dion's account of numerous frauds and corrupt business dealings is a relevant part of her story, the sheer volume of offenses is overwhelming. However, she balances the weighty content by sharing personal tidbits about other aspects of her life. For instance, home decor is one of my passions, and I especially like the details she shares about decorating her bed-and-breakfast. "As we worked our way down the wall, we discovered original milk paint stenciling on the wall, in a border along the top and midway down. It was beautiful, with flourishes of terracotta, blue, and a faint brown and green."
The only thing I dislike is an inconsistency regarding names. The building code inspector is introduced as Phil O'Conner. However, in several instances, he is mistakenly referred to as Bill. Additionally, there are multiple errors, such as missing articles and the incorrect use of plural versus possessive.
Sadly, due to the number of errors, I am unable to award the book a perfect rating. I rate Into the Wilderness 3 out of 4 stars. I caution sensitive readers that it contains profanity and non-explicit sexual references. I recommend the book to readers who appreciate stories involving strong women and overcoming adversity. While Dion credits her faith in God for seeing her through such difficult circumstances, her message of hope and perseverance is universal.
Into The Wilderness
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