This book was written as an example of how “The Blessing,” John Trent’s non-fiction book, could play out in someone’s life. It showed how a person can come to believe that they are worthless and evil and don’t deserve to be loved, and it also demonstrated how those thoughts and feelings can be reversed by someone’s positive influence in their life. I have experienced that kind of positive influence in my own life, so I can appreciate the book for giving inspiration to readers to be this kind of influence for another person.
Judging it as a work of fiction though, I felt it was lacking in a few areas. Firstly, the narrative voice – it was written in first-person, from the point of view of the main character, but it sounded as if a twelve-year-old boy were telling the story with short, choppy, poorly worded sentences. This kind of voice gets tiring to read. It almost makes the reader feel less intelligent with this kind of voice in their head throughout a whole book. I think the author used this voice to demonstrate some of the qualities of the main character, but even that doesn’t make sense. The main character got excellent grades in school and ended up going to college, so the unintelligent voice really isn’t needed. I would have much preferred to read the story through intelligent, good storytelling. It would have been more enjoyable to read.
Secondly, the story and the characters were so simple. The whole thing lacked the complicated details of real life and the conflicting thought patterns and relationships that a professional novelist can weave seamlessly into a book. But that is the danger that lies in a non-fiction writer moving into the fiction realm. They just can’t give a novel the depth that a studied, experienced novelist can.
Thirdly, it lacked the undertone that a Christian novel needs – the Holy Spirit. There was no demonstration of how the Holy Spirit prompted anything in the book or anything that the characters did. What are we but vessels of Christ’s love? I would have loved to experience the underlying promptings behind the character’s actions and the feel of God pulling the main character to Himself.
Overall, the book is worth reading if only for the inspiration it gives to seek out ways to be a blessing to others. It serves a purpose in that, but I believe a good novel should both serve a purpose and be written beautifully with excellence.
Thank you Thomas Nelson for providing this book for my review.