Young is guaranteed to stretch my imagination and he does it again in this novel.
We are taken to an island between worlds. A battered and broken young woman, on the edge of death, is rescued and cared for by John, a Collector. Lilly will become a Witness, one who sees and yet mysteriously becomes a part of what is seen. What she sees is the beginning of the world and the creation of Man.
His description of creation is breath taking. “Behemoth of matter squared off against leviathan of chaos, sending sparks of play and power outward, creating space, energy, and time.” And that's just a small part of the first day.
There are so many thought provoking ideas in the novel. One is the concept of Adam turning from face-to-face with God, casting a shadow, the beginning of the darkness of sin. We turn too, not believing Adonai will meet all our longings. Another is the reality of what is not seen. Does existence depend on perception or the ability to touch or are invisibles like hope, love, and angels as real as mountains and oceans? And yet another is the absurd idea of God creating Man and God putting His image in something so weak. Another concept is the Bride and how much she is loved by God.
This is a fantasy and yes, Eve is a back woman and the Holy Spirit is a “she.” As I thought about my imagination being stretched, I realized that C. S. Lewis cast Jesus as a lion. This novel is much in the same style. And the end, well that just brought it all together anyway.
I was moved by reading this novel. I realized all over again the great love God has for me. I also realized how important it is to remain face-to-face with God, trusting and waiting and not turning away.
I would recommend this novel to those who like the style of Narnia fantasy. This is a well crafted fantasy that takes us to the very creation of the world and brings that reality before us.
My rating: 5/5 stars.
Wm. Paul Young is the author of the New York times bestsellers The Shack and Crossroads. He lives in Oregon. You can find out more at http://wmpaulyoung.com/.
Howard Books, 320 pages.
I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of an independent and honest review.