Martin has crafted a powerful novel. It is not overtly “Christian” in that I would not describe the major characters as Christians. Yet the novel had great impact on me. The entire novel, I think, is an allegory of a major Christian concept, giving your own life for that of another.
Martin's writing style is compelling. I was captivated by Joseph's story. Developing Joseph's character as the plot progressed was masterful. The plot itself weaves through contemporary experiences based on events from the past. While the plot is complex, I was never confused. I was duped once by a plot twist but then was greatly relieved by the next plot twist.
This book really stirred my emotions. At times I was angry for Joseph and all he had to suffer as a result of the Viet Nam war. At other times I was amazed at his compassion and care for others and the evidence of his strong character.
I highly recommend this book. It is well crafted and thought provoking. There is a little about romance. There is lots about family relationships and healing them. There are insights into evil and goodness. And there is that intriguing allegory depicting Christ's love for us.
My rating: 5/5 stars.
Charles Martin is an award winning author of thirteen novels. He and his wife have three boys. He has a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and enjoys bow hunting. He and his family live in Jacksonville, Florida.
Thomas Nelson, 352 pages.
I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. My comments are an independent and honest review.