College student Annie is trying to deal with her mother's recent announcement that her parents are getting a divorce. A mysterious white haired professor, Glaen, shows up on campus and offers Annie a class in which she must write an original work of nonfiction. She plans to write about Christian relationships.
She has two theories and wants to put them to the test. Theory 1 is traditional dating, exclusive, a time of getting to know each other, often with intense romantic desires. It is a date-break-up routine. Hoping for the right relationship usually ends up in a misery cycle. Theory 2 is the more old fashioned idea of engaging in social activities before courting, and includes emotional, financial and spiritual aspects. The long term goal is marriage with courting a way for God to reveal His will to all involved. She finds that both kinds of relationship building actions can disastrously end in hurt.
Newton as an example, Glaen helps Annie begin to observe how God made things to work. If Annie can observe relationships and have faith God designed a way they truly work, she will discover what she is looking for.
She discovers lies, such as there is no harm in acting married. Dating like that only causes pain and heartache. Other lies include, God has only one person for you to marry, if you follow the right process you will have a great marriage, men and women are the same, and so on.
Romance is a trap. Romance is about the unusual and exciting so it leads to sex, the highest aim of romance.
Through experiences and personal interactions, Annie learns why relationships go bad (truth, love and freedom are missing). “The most important skill for success in relationships is Control-Free-Relating.” (131)
The author has added a summary at the end of each section, highlighting the truth contained in that part of the story.
Lybrand's book is an example of one writing a novel to explain a truth or convey a message. Rather than weaving the message throughout the novel, the message is the novel. It is painfully apparent through out the book that Lybrand has a message and has created scenes to convey that message. For me, it was to contrived.
I received an egalley of the book from the author for the purpose of this review.
Free study guide: http://glaen.com/STUDY-GUIDE.html.
Learn the principles in Glaen: http://www.glaen.com/
The Barnabas Agency/ISBN: 978-0-578-04652-5/softcover/171 pages/$14.99