Rubart is an author who crafts fiction that I know will make me think. He has done that well in this novel. I was challenged to think deeply about spiritual transformation, about being a new creation in Christ, about how that truly comes to be.
The first half of the book moved a little slowly for me. Toren was a football player, let go by the Seahawks for his uncontrolled anger. He wakes up in a hotel room and ultimately realizes he has been missing for eight months. His wife and children, as well as everyone else, thought he was dead. His wife, tired of his angry outbursts anyway, has moved on. Toren struggles to find out where he has been and why his new found control over his temper seems to be fading. He wonders if he will ever be able to win back the love of his wife and children.
A number of thought provoking issues are covered in this book. One is our memories. Are they reliable? Do they change? I was fascinated by the reported work of scientists and their experiments to get rid of unwanted memories, such as those experienced by people with PTSD.
By far the most important issue is dealing with our dark side. Rubart mentions the familiar story of the two dogs within, one white one black. The one fed the most becomes more powerful. Yet a Christian is a new creation in Christ. What about that dark side? What about the old man being put to death and Christ living within? Those are all issues Toren struggles to understand and have become a reality in his life.
I recommend this novel to readers who enjoy a plot portraying the truths of spiritual transformation. You will be given much to think about. While the first part of the novel moved slowly and I felt the whole novel could have been more concise, it is definitely worth reading. Discussion Questions are included so this book would be a good choice for a reading group.
My rating: 4/5 stars.
James L Rubart is the bestselling, Christy, Carol, RT Book Reviews, and INSPY award winning author of nine novels. A professional marketer and speaker, Rubart and his wife have two grown sons and live in the Pacific Northwest. You can find out more at http://jameslrubart.com/. (Photo by Christophoto, Bothell, WA)
Thomas Nelson, 384 pages.
I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publishers. My comments are an independent and honest review.