Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Message in a novel

UPDATE/REVISION ALERT I’ve added some text since I originally posted this. It’s below in red. I would love your opinion on the addition.

There are times when I begin reading a novel and I’m drawn right in. There are times when I read a novel that I just keep reading to find out what’s going to happen. Believe it or not, the novel Arthur’s Soul Adventure by Brian R. Chambers caused both of those reactions.

                             

Before I get more into that here’s a synopsis of what the book is about, which I’ve taken from the back cover:

“During the Great Depression in Boston, a young family without parents rose above hardships to show the true dignity of poverty and the power of their relationships. Arthur’s gentle connection with others and humorous exploits, softly convey the story’s spiritual undercurrent. Injured by a severe blow, he died temporarily and was swept into a mystical light. Journeying through heaven, Arthur received an important message that he was told to help others and was miraculously revived. He returned from heaven with ideas about how powerful we truly are and how to overcome our deepest fears.”

What’s good about the book? The message. In the book, young Arthur dies, takes a journey to Heaven and receives a message from his Guardian Angel, his parents who both passed away, and a man he met while in the hospital. What’s the message? That we – each of us individually – are the greatest things God ever made and we can have whatever we want. If we don’t worry and concentrate on filling ourselves up with the love God has for us we can eliminate fear and worry. Regardless of how many times Arthur tries to tell the message, no one believes him.

What’s bad about the book? The dialogue is my main “complaint.” It, and I hate to admit it, isn’t the best written novel I’ve ever read; however, if you can get pass that then Arthur's Soul Adventure has a much bigger message and purpose to convey. I believe the message could have been communicated more quickly.

In fact, it was the afterword, which I think should have been the foreword, that solidifies how special the book is. Don’t take my word for it one way or another, take a gander at it yourself. And, if you decide to do that (here’s my creatively included disclosure), click through the above widget or the link in the paragraph before this one to purchase. Each link goes to Amazon where, if you purchase, awards me a small commission.

Some final thoughts: There was one main point to the book that I think was an important message because it’s one that I’ve had discussions about. I’ll just pull the text directly from Arthur’s dialogue, “… He wants us to know that we don’t need to follow anyone else to find him, but that it’s also okay if we do. We can find our way back home to him just fine. He doesn’t like it when we let other people tell us the way home instead of following our own hearts. And he really doesn’t like it when we believe the people that tell us they know the ‘one and only way home. No one owns God and no one owns the way home. All ways are good and there are many ways. God doesn’t like it when we fight each other about the right way home.”

Complete disclosure: Many thanks to Ascot Media Group, Inc. for forwarding me a copy of Arthur’s Soul Adventure to facilitate this review. The opinions included here are my own and were in no way influenced by anyone else. Click for my ever-so-interesting full disclosure policy.

Oh, and before you go, tell me about the latest book you’ve read.