Christopher took his first leap of faith at the age of five. He jumped off the tree in his backyard, right into his father’s arms. It was only the first branch up, but his father ruffled his hair, held him tight and said he had the faith of a boy twice his age. Each year on his birthday, Christopher takes another jump. Each time, a little higher up that tree. Land safely, and he might earn God’s pleasure. But one year, Christopher breaks his leg, and suddenly it’s his little sister who seems to please their parents best.
Distance grows between him and his father, especially as a sexual addiction takes root in his heart, launching him into a dangerous free-fall. Desperate for escape, Christopher looks to college, thinking he might find God on his own terms. Yet as he becomes entrenched in the secular haven of higher education, he discovers the “Cathedral of Learning” is no more of a savior than a tree. He flees once more, hitchhiking with an atheist set on his own spiritual journey. But as they end up in Selma, Alabama, Christopher and his new friend land in a church that won’t let them get away.
This was a compelling book. I have read a number of literary novels, but this is extraordinary literary fiction. It was well written but didn't leave me feeling depressed as some secular novels have done. Similar Christian books with female characters (regarding tragedy and the ultimate search for God) Into the Free by Julie Cantrell, and Watching the Tree Limbs by Mary Demuth. Some others I enjoyed are Words by Ginny L Yttrup and Pocketful of Pearls by Shelley Bates.
This book features a main character that is a young man who is growing up and trying to find his way in the world. He is searching for a place to belong, and although he had quite a variety of religion in his background, some of what he learned was messed up. At the same time there were checks in his heart when obvious false teaching came into play. Similarly themed books about young men written in a literary style are From the Dead by John Herrick and Between these Walls by John Herrick. I loved both of those books.
The fact that Jump is a Christian novel makes it that much more compelling to me because I love reading books with a spiritual element; especially the kind that drives many of us to search for that missing piece (peace) in our lives.
Some people might find the reality of this man's struggles to be a bit too edgy for them, but I loved it. I really, really did. There is simply not enough realistic emotion embedded in tragic tales written by Christian authors, though they do exist. Too many authors tend to lean toward the conservative end to sell their stories to bigger publishing houses, but stories like this really speak to people's hearts. I can't say much about this book without giving away spoilers, but I will say it was very easy for me to relate to this character and the issues he faced. Wonderful literary fiction. I highly recommend it.
Jump was published by One Way Street Productions and released in 2016. You can buy it HERE,