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Lunch » Tags » Books » Reviews » Silver Birches: A Novel » User review

Poetic, Powerful. Poignant

  • Dec 27, 2009
  • by
Rating:
+5

I can't believe that this book sat in a to-be-read pile for months. I don't know if it was the bland cover in the monochromatic silvers and grays. Or if it was the subject matter, a well-known Christian speaker loses his wife and the story begins in the midst of his depression and struggles. Whatever it was, don't make the same mistake I did.

If you love prose that often reads like poetry (the good kind), thought-provoking, faith-tweaking, realistic fiction, or love British authors, then pick up this book.

Rich, rich, rich details and storytelling poke at sensitive spots in Christ followers. The scenario of half a dozen youth group friends meeting for a weekend twenty years or so after last seeing each other sounds like it might be a bit like a Christianized/sanitized version of The Big Chill. There are moments it feels like that. But that might be because real Christians also have personalities and issues that don't look a whole lot different from unbelievers. And though similar to the storyline of The Big Chill, it's not actually sanitized a whole lot. A big theme is the Christian and his or her sexuality. Then toss in the waves that nearly drown followers when God does not do as He is expected and instead bad, awful, inexplicably hideous things happen that leave us gasping for air and a break. An even bigger one...what if a person, a good person prays and asks to be delivered from something yet still struggles with it twenty years later? Oh yeah. This book, tiny though it is -- less than 200 pages -- is heavy and deep.

I am so glad I read this book. I'll be investigating other Plass offerings. Powerful.

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Kelly Klepfer ()
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Member Since: Feb 11, 2009
Last Login: Jun 8, 2012 02:25 AM UTC
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Bestselling British author Plass (Bacon Sandwiches and Salvation) offers an intentionally offbeat story of bereaved widower David Herrick, who suffers intensely following the loss of his beloved wife, Jessica. Herrick, a popular Christian speaker, finds it sadly ironic that the very words and pat phrases he offers to listening audiences aren't doing him much good in his personal sorrow. With the arrival of a letter and an invitation from an old friend, Herrick travels to a former haunted bed-and-breakfast and rejoins classmates from years earlier; during their gathering, they eventually expose their deepest longings and struggles. Keenly attentive to his own skewed view on life at present, Herrick finds himself strangely moved by his former friends' individual plights and begins to glimpse small slivers of hope in the cracks of brokenness. No matter how he tries to shut out the divinely orchestrated lessons, Herrick finally surrenders and what he discovers surprises him most of all. Finely tuned and sensitively written, this moving story reminds readers that everyone bleeds the same on the inside.(June)
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Details

ISBN-10: 0310292034
ISBN-13: 978-0310292036
Author: Adrian Plass
Publisher: Zondervan

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