16 June 2005

Leaving Ruin by Jeff Berryman

Christian-Fiction. Paperback from New Leaf Books. Published in 2002. Purchased from Amazon.com

I know! An actual book rather than an audiobook. Audiobooks have fit a little bit better with all the things I need to get done as of late. But, this one I read a little bit at a time before bed. It took me a while to get through it.

The book seems at times to be a bit preachy/syrupy in places, but towards the end I stopped noticing it. So it either got past that or I got used to it. There are some good insights to be found buried in this novel, and some very astute observations about the nature of the church.

Publisher's summary:
Loreen is her name -- the gnarly old woman in the angel costume who accosts Cyrus Manning near the dance floor of the Down Under. A gift is coming, she tells him. "The gift is to die for".

For 11 years, cyrus has pastored First Church of Ruin, a town deep in the barrens of West Texas. His life, much like the surrounding plains, looks bleak -- strained relationships at home, ineffective ministry, and a congregation that no longer wants him. Hoping t hear a word from God, he gets little more than the occasional headache and the silence of a near-dead wind.

The arrival of a former lover, the death of a dear friend, and a blatantly rejected prayer increases Cyrus' inner pressure, and the call of missed lives become palpable. Loping toward the unknown, Cyrus faces roads filled with fevered dreams, wandering messiahs, and the occasional rare gift --
remember Loreen, the prophesy -- and he is horrified and amazed to discover that his life may not turn out at all like he'd planned.

In this richly-textured novel, the world of the small-town church is revealed -- its natural wonders, its natural cruelities and, here and there, breathtaking moments of unnatural grace.

To buy from amazon.co.uk, click here: Leaving Ruin
from amazon.com, click here: Leaving Ruin

No comments: