First of all...the winner of Rose House is......Edna!! Congrats, Edna--this is a great book.
OK, this week's book comes to us from an author to whom all Christian novelists owe their gratitude. Jerry B. Jenkins blazed a huge trail with his Left Behind series, creating a path for others to follow. His novel, Riven, is a departure from that series, and let me tell you, this is a big ol' fantastic summer-read book. At 500+ pages, get ready to plunge into a story tailor-made for the dedicated, serious reader.
Here's the blurb:
You would never expect the paths of Brady Darby and Thomas Carey to cross. The teenage Brady is an outsider from the wrong side of the tracks who’s trying to find his place in life while still somehow protecting his little brother from their negligent mother. Thomas is a preacher without a flock, as he and his devoted wife, Grace, are forced to move towns once again after allowing membership at yet another church to dwindle under their watch. At every turn, Brady’s decisions seem to backfire, even when he tries change by participating in the high school musical. At the same time, Thomas and Grace are immediately rejected by their latest congregation for refusing to give in to politics, and their only child seems to reject them and their lifestyle. Several years later, the worlds of Brady and Thomas collide at a juvenile halfway house. They act as life forces for each other even as their individual worlds sink deeper into misery. Christian fiction author Jenkins covers much ground in this weighty book, and while heroes are made out of those who come to God, Jenkins avoids preachiness and, instead, lets goodness shine.
Now, confession time: I have not personally read this book, so I can't give my own review. But, I will give you a few snippets from the Amazon reviews:
Jerry B. Jenkins calls Riven the book he has always wanted to write, unlike anything he has ever written before.
Riven is a masterful work focusing on the human condition and redemption. Jenkins contrasts one who has tried to do right throughout his life and "failed" with another who has done everything wrong and refuses to take responsibility for his actions. Isn't that a current mindset? Surely, I am not responsible for what I have done? As the two main characters collide, a chain reaction ignites and races to fulfillment, resulting in a brilliant display of the greatest price ever paid, the ultimate responsibility. Both Christian and secular readers will find more than enough to ponder.
This book is by far the greatest work of Jerry Jenkin's life. It is his epic. When a person reaches the magnitude of Jenkins he becomes free to publish the story on his heart rather than the story that might sell. Riven is such a story.
I love that last statment, about Jenkins being able to publish the story of his heart. I've said all along that Stealing Home is the story of my heart. So, tell me about a book you've read where you could sense the author's love for the story and the characters. What other books have you read that are stories of the heart?