Deliver Me from Evil introduces readers to Mara, an eighteen-year-old girl who has been enslaved for nearly ten years, having been sold by her parents in Mexico and then smuggled across the border into San Diego where she was forced into sexual slavery. Readers will also meet 18-year-old, Bible-college-bound Jonathan and his 16-year-old sister, Leah, whose paths cross Mara's and who become involved in her dramatic rescue.
Interwoven between the stories of Mara, Jonathan, and Leah is the heartbreaking story of another young woman in captivity in the Golden Triangle of Thailand, whose past life mysteriously connects to the young people in San Diego.
The story opens with Mara in a closet, lonely, afraid and beaten. Her own father had sold her into a life of degradation, perversion, torture and abuse. She arrived into the clutches of ‘Jefe’ and his two goons, the Enforcer and the Destroyer, at the tender age of 8 and she is now 18-years-old. She has spent a decade suffering unimaginable agony and suffering. Being meted out like a dog to men to do what they wish with her for a price. If Mara dare be uncooperative in any way, she will suffer and writhe with pain by Jefe or his two goons far beyond what she suffers with the men in hotels.
As new and younger girls are brought into this twisted and perverted society, Mara is to teach them the ropes and must ensure that all Jefe’s rules are followed by them for not only will they suffer, but Mara even worse. They will be battered, bloodied and bruised beyond recognition.
We also meet a wonderful Christian family, the Flannery’s. Dad is the Associate Pastor at their community church, Mom is a stay-at-home, and the kids, 18-year-old Jonathan and 16-year-old Leah are good kids who have a deep faith and a belief system that allows them to function in their daily lives as responsible and respectable citizens.
Jonathan works as a pizza delivery boy and is about to graduate high school in two weeks. In his job he delivers pizza orders to homes, apartments and even hotel rooms where he has his first encounter with Mara.
Meanwhile, we are introduced to Chanthra who lives in the Golden Triangle Region of Thailand and has a connection to Mara and the others. Her story is absolutely wretched and heartbreaking.
Ms. Machias has done an unbelievable job in presenting this story in a clear-cut and concise way. Her writing is flawless and keeps you turning the pages. Her ability to portray compelling characters that grapple with challenges to the extreme is remarkable.
The emotion this story elicited in me was gripping. There are a lot of issues to grapple with in this novel that we all need to think about and its novels such as this one that often brings our attention to the plight of people around the world and in our own communities. I would highly recommend this book for everyone.
***Thank you to netGalley for the preview copy***