Apparently this author wrote the Left Behind books, which I never read. Figures, in a way. This novel treats in parallel form of two people. One is a middle-aged pastor who is faithful but unsuccessful in his ministry, with a fallen-away adult daughter and a wife who is falling sick with cancer. The other is a boy from the wrong side of the tracks with no dad, an alcoholic mother, and a trailer home. Brady, the boy, shows talent in acting (playing the lead in Bye Bye Birdie in his school play) but flunks his classes and then goes downhill from there, into a life of increasing squalor and crime. The pastor maintains his faith in the face of everything going wrong in his life but with increasing difficulty. He eventually gets a job in a lock-down prison for the most irredeemable criminals. Three-quarters of the book switches from one life to the other; in the last quarter, the plot takes a truly strange turn (for which the Amazon reviews did not prepare me). It was like stepping into a different book. I basically liked the whole first part, especially the life of the unsuccessful, mediocre, valiant pastor, but the last part just rang my implausibility and inappropriate meter so loudly that I couldn't buy in.
Grey Matter. A California neurosurgeon recounts his experiences of praying with his patients. Dr Levy grew up in a Jewish Christian home and returned to his Christian faith after some time as a practicing Jew. In this book he tells stories of his different cases and his mission of bringing prayer to his medical work. Very interesting.
Dynevor Terrace, or the Clue of Life, volume 1.
Another Charlotte Yonge novel. Details of the book here. Since I'm running out of computer time I'll just quote:
The theme of the novel is summed up in the sub-title, "The Clue of Life". The clue is to see the present life as a preparation for Heaven, which in practice means improving one's character and doing good to others. Louis has to overcome his volatility and desultoriness, James his pride, Isobel her tendency to live in a dream world, and to neglect her duties to her husband and children
Dynevor Terrace Volume 2.
I really love Charlotte Yonge. When Lent is over I am going to read another book of hers. Why did I not know about her books until just recently?