Book: The Last Child
Author: John Hart
Basic Plot: Boy separated from his twin sister by an assumed kidnapping is on a mission to find said sister and is basically taking care of his mother and her drug addiction in an attempt to hold his family together after his father has allegedly left them.
I'll be honest. This was a "Silver Falls Library Book Club" book, and like the others I didn't think I'd like it. I basically attend this book club to have intelligent conversation with older women about literature, not because I necessarily agree with their taste.
But this book blew me away completely. I don't think my book club comrades saw all that I saw in the book, but for me this was a story about a boy finding his way back to faith. There were some theological problems, but I felt they were minor in comparison to the powerful view of God put forward. It seems that in this day and age God in literature is either a vindictive tyrant whose minions are hypocritical scumbags looking for people to victimize (See my post on The Drowning Tree) or God is a slightly more powerful Oprah Winfrey (The Shack; which I still haven't written about). Somehow this book was closer to the all powerful but personal God I worship.
Also, I'd hate to leave out that this was just a very good story. It was well told and kept you interested every step of the way. The characters were people you felt sympathy for. They were realistic and were dealing with loss, tragedy, love, and faith in very real ways. It was set in a small town, and the reader has the experience of entering into the small town and being able to connect with the happenings there. I don't want to say a lot about it because I don't want to ruin the ending for anyone. Let's just say there are many (good and bad) surprises in the end.
The gritty themes of murder and child molestation are a major part of the story. They are shown for the evil they are and are not gratuitously indulged in, but they are there. So, for younger people or just more sensitive people I would say be careful or don't read it at all. But the themes of familial love, friendship, and faith in a powerful God who answers prayers are also there and I think it was definitely worth it.
Reading Recommendation: 1st John. Do I really need to say anything more? It's the word of God. But actually I was reading this morning, and thinking about how wonderful God is to give me words to assure me of my standing before Him. Sometimes in my fallen state, it's exactly what I need to hear.
Quote of the Day: "The opposite of love is not hate. It's indifference" ~ Helen Fisher