I really enjoyed Paul Young's The Shack so when I realized Windblown Media had finally brought out another book I was very keen to read it. Bo's Café is certainly an interesting book; very different from the Shack, but with a similar grace-filled message. While the Shack starts with solid real-world tragedy then slides into mystery, Bo's Café opens with a mysteriously meaningful encounter, only to slide its way into everyday pain.
The main character, Steven, is a person that many men might easily relate to, and a spouse that many women might recognize. He means well. He tries. But he knows his job is to provide and somehow he forgets there's another provider, and that he's also supposed to be present and part of his family.
As Steven repeatedly reasons himself out of guilt, I find myself feeling sorry for him, then sorry for his wife, then guilty for my own mistakes--yes, wives make mistakes too. Meanwhile the angel in the truck-stop turns out to be a very real man with his own history and faults, as are all the other people Steven meets at Bo's Café.
I enjoyed the characters and their interactions. I valued the small insights into how their lives went downhill before they changed; they were changing still. But the story itself felt more preachy than The Shack--more determined to give me answers than to inspire me to seek for myself. The Shack had a lighter touch it seemed, filled with a sense of the wonder and otherness of God. But Bo's Café is the other side of the same coin, heavier and more firmly grounded, with a God who is passionate about right relationships and attitudes.
If Men are from Mars and Woman from Venus, then Bo's Café might make a good sourcebook for translation. Mars and Venus strike sparks and fly apart, till they finally learn a way to live in balance with self and others. The book gives a fascinating insight into the male mind, and into God's love. I enjoyed this it; just not so overwhelmingly as I enjoyed The Shack.
This story is very different to read. I wasn't quite sure what to expect when I started reading. Steven isn't exactly a likable character. He has a lot of faults, some he will readily admit, others he doesn't seem to notice that he has. In situations with his family, I especially felt for his wife and daughter and understand their reactions to him. As for Andy, to me it felt like he was a guardian angel who appeared out of nowhere, who always had the right things to say. His character is never really … more
Many novels are pure entertainment. You are lost in a different world for a few hours. BO'S CAFE is much more than a simple reading experience. Yes, you will be lost in the drama and life of Steven, the lead character, yet the experience will be much more. I found BO'S CAFE a thoughtful and pointed experience. I highly recommend this book. I find myself thinking about it in odd moments days after I completed it. Get this book and try it.
Sheila Deeth's first novel, Divide by Zero, has just been released in print and ebook formats. Find it on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Powells, etc. Her spiritual speculative novellas can be found at … more
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High-powered executive Steven Kerner is living the dream in southern California. But when his bottled pain ignites in anger one night, his wife kicks him out. Then an eccentric mystery man named Andy Monroe befriends Steven and begins unravelling his tightly wound world. Andy leads Steven through a series of frustrating and revealing encounters to repair his life through genuine friendship and the grace and love of a God who has been waiting for him to accept it. A story to challenge and encourage, BO'S CAFE is a model for all who struggle with unresolved problems and a performance-based life. Those who desire a fuller, more authentic way of living will find this journey of healing a restorative exploration of God's unbridled grace.