Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Encounter by Stephen Arterburn

This book is not your typical novel. The fiction part is short, a novella, really. I read it in one day. There is also a section of the book at the end which is not fiction.
The story is about Jonathan Rush, nicknamed Gold Rush because of his wealth. But he is not happy and, in fact, he recently tried to commit suicide. He has deep anger against his birth mother who turned him over to the state when he was very young. His pastor insists he go back to his birth place in Alaska and find information about his mother. Perhaps if he understands why she abandoned him he can deal with his anger and forgive her. He grudgingly allows a reporter to help him and finds he is falling for her.
The ending of the story part of the book I found unrealistic. Rush's deep seated anger disappears in about two seconds. Also, the relationship with the reporter is odd since he has gone through three wives already.
The strength of the book, I think, is actually the counseling part after the story. Arterburn deals with the issues in the book, giving suggestions on how to deal with them.
This is not the kind of book one would read for the fiction. This would be a great book to give someone who has deep anger or struggles with forgiveness. The story would draw them in and then they would be open to the suggestions at the end of the book.
The work of God in generating the forgiveness is not as clear as I would like it to be. Nonetheless, it is an inspirational book and gives the reader hope in the area of reconciliation.

Thomas Nelson Publishers, 176 pages.

I received an egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.

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