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Saturday, March 24, 2012

My review of The Faithful One by Michele Chynoweth

About the book:

Seth Jacobs has fame, wealth, a beautiful wife and three children, and in a series of reversals of fortune beyond his control, Seth loses it all. 
His family, home, business, and reputation end up in ruins, followed quickly by his health when he finds out he is dying of cancer. His friends, who suggest God has a reason for inflicting so much loss and pain upon him, challenge Seth’s faith. Suffering, he asks God, as we all do, "Why is this happening to me?", and receives an unexpected answer. A modern-day story based on the Bible's Book of Job, The Faithful One inspires us all to have a little faith no matter what. 

My review:

This story was pretty deep on a number of levels and I read it pretty much straight through. The author did a great job with a modern day Job story and I think it's the best one I've read so far because it was so believably written. It had a few places where the points of view switched suddenly, and the time period jumped back and forth, causing me to pause and try to figure out whose head I was in and where I was, otherwise I'd have given it five stars.

On an artistic level, this author really wrote a compelling and honest story. I loved how the author wasn't afraid to "go there" on a number of occasions and deal with temptation and pain honestly, like it would really happen in real life. I loved how the children in the story were worse off than dead... wait, that came out wrong. I loved how the author crafted this way of suffering for Seth because it was very effective. I thought that having them all alive but in various tormenting situations would be much harder on someone than a quick, unexpected deaths would be. Great job there.

I felt pretty bad for Seth because he really was quite pitiful when he was at his lowest point. The author did a great job helping me to empathize with him and understand his anger. At the same time, his friends were all over him, but I found it ironic that a lot of the things they said are very much like comments people make nowadays when they don't understand a situation. I loved how Seth's suffering actually made everyone stronger in the end. Was it horrible? Definitely. I would not want to be in Seth shoes. Ever. But I could see how God turned things around for him in the end and I found my eyes filling with tears when I saw how God used Job's pain and suffering (and desperation) to help a couple of sweet people to live. That was really cool.

All in all, I loved this book. I couldn't put it down and kept reading pretty much to the end (finished it in less than two days.) People who enjoy realistic fiction will love this book. At first I thought the POV view was omniscient, but then I saw that it was just all over the place. Most of the time, however, it was solidly in one point of view, so I could forgive the slips. The content of the book and the heart of the story outshone the glitches, making it worth taking the time to read. I adore novels that make me think and ponder my life and my faith. This story accomplishes that. Plus, it touched my heart. That's the most important thing to me.

The Faithful One was published by Ellechor Publishing and re-released in March 2012.

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