Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Splitting Storm by Rene Gutteridge; The Missing Piece by Lee Ezell; A Promise is to Keep by Nan Hayden Agle

I am reading potential library books for our new church library and thought that I would share my reviews with all you readers too. Maybe some of you have read one of these books and can add your two sense?

The Splitting Storm by Rene Gutteridge
A well-written, fast-paced murder mystery with good dialogue and (mostly) believable characters. This book is part of a series, but can stand alone, although the conclusion of the book seems a little too "tidy" and may work better if you read the other books too. This book is a good example of what Christian Lit can be, in that faith is an integral part of the characters' lives and not an add-on. The main characters struggle, are encouraged by the communion of saints and are strengthened by prayer, and ultimately come to a deeper reliance on God.

The Missing Piece by Lee Ezell
I struggled with this one. Overall the book is poorly written - a decent editor could pare this down to 15 pages. The story is bogged down with anticipating an event before it happens, and over-analyzing an event after it happens. The basic story line is that a young girl in an unhappy home is raped and gives her child up for adoption. Years later, after struggling, remarrying and raising step-daughters, she is reunited with her child. This is a true story written by the mother herself.
There is a lot of talk of faith, prayer, Bible reading and church going. I admire her openness about matters of faith... but it leaves a funny flavor. The whole time I had the feeling that the author believed that she had a direct line to God and that God would specifically reveal his will to her in some way.
I googled the "Four Square Church" that she mentions and found this: Especially note the section about the Holy Spirit (#10, 11 and 12) "healing" (#14)
Hmmm... strange. This church was begun by a woman preacher named Aimee McPherson in the 1920's and is considered a branch of Pentacostalism. Read more about their history here:
I would not recommend this book. Besides the fact that it's painfully poorly written, it offers a confusing and muddled message about prayer and the working of the Holy Spirit.

A Promise is to Keep by Nan Hayden Agle
A true story of a black slave and the family that she stood by for three generations, written by one of the family. A fascinating "inside" look at slavery and a tumultuous time in American history. A good read and well written. This book only qualifies as 'christian' in the loosest of ways and has very little edifying value.

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