Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Will of Wisteria by Denise Hildreth

Another church library book....

Not sure how this one qualifies as Christian Lit, but anyways.... The story line in a nut shell: A billionaire father leaves his four spoiled, selfish and unpleasant children (Jeffery, Elizabeth, Mary Catherine, and Will) his fortune, with a catch - they must work at a job pro bono, they must only spend money on essential items (apparently $300 bottles of wine count as essentials too, just no vacations or flashy cars) and they must meet for Sunday dinners with the family - for a year in order to claim their share of the money.

Three of the children are highly suspicious, but decide to follow the rules assuming that none of the others will and they will be able to inherit all the money.  The youngest sibling mocks the restrictions and refuses to cooperate.  The premise here is interesting... and knowing that this is a Christian book, I assumed that at some point each child would be confronted with his/her inherant sinfulness and come to repentence.  Rather, they change because of crisis in their own lives and only one of the children (Jeffery, the oldest) really comes to any kind of significant faith, although Elizabeth and Mary Catherine do find "healing."

There are admirable Christian characters in this story, but they are all minor ones: Esau, the billionaire's house servant; Hazel, a client of Elizabeth's pro bono work stint; and Aaron, the billionaire's former employee and Elizabeth's only friend.

Denise Hildreth has a real talent for creating unlikeable characters (see my review of Flies on the Butter) and it took till the middle of the book before I felt even a smidgen of sympathy for Jeffrey, 3/4 of the way for Mary Catherine and right close to the end, I managed to dredge up a little bit of feeling for Elizabeth.  Will remains unlikeable right to the last page.

I do not know how this book could be encouraging or useful to Christians in their everyday walk of life or in building their relationship with God.  Not recommended.

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