Martin has given us an engaging novel about music, how some are gifted and how that gift is to be used.
He has woven the meaning of music into a plot involving the story of Cooper. He has the gift. Son of a tent preacher, he left when he was eighteen to make his name in Nashville. He experiences disappointments yet perseveres. He meets Daley, a young woman who can sing Cooper's songs like an angel. But a tragedy causes Cooper's days in Nashville to be over and his budding romance with Daley to be smashed.
This novel has a great message of redemption. Has Cooper been gone to far and to long to return? What about his gift? Has he used it wrong? Will he ever use it again?
Music lovers will enjoy the detail about music in this novel. We find out why people have a gift to write songs and play and sing them. We see why some feel it is their calling to place songs within others so they can sing them. We are told each of us has a song that only we can sing.
One aspect of this novel is sort of in the magical realism style, perhaps I should call it spiritual realism. We see a heavenly being portrayed, perhaps Jesus. I always find it a little dangerous when an author portrays a person of the Godhead. There were a couple of conversations with Him (Jesus?) that had me shaking my head.
I also felt the ending of the novel was just a little too easy, too much of a rescue out of the blue, so to speak.
That being said, the novel contains a great spiritual lesson. There is no place too far gone that God's love cannot reach us. No matter where we have been or what we have done, we can always come home. There is a very good gospel message in this novel, especially in the Afterward by the author.
My rating: 4/5 stars.
Charles Martin is the New York Times bestselling author of twelve novels. He and his wife live in Jacksonville, Florida. You can find out more at http://charlesmartinbooks.com/.
Thomas Nelson, 320 pages.
I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.