Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Claudia Mair Burney's Wounded ~ Reviewed
Wounded: A Love Story
Claudia Mair Burney
Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: David C. Cook (September 2008)
If a miracle happened to you, wouldn't you tell everyone? What if they thought you were crazy?
Poor in health but rich in faith, Gina Merritt a young, broke, African American single mother sits in a pew on Ash Wednesday and has a holy vision. When it fades, her palms are bleeding. Anthony Priest, the junkie sitting beside her, instinctively touches her when she cries out, but Gina flees in shock and pain. Anthony, a prize-winning journalist before drugs destroyed his career, is flooded with a sense of well-being and knows he is cured of his addiction. Without understanding why, Anthony follows Gina home to find some answers. Together they search for an understanding to this miraculous event, and along the way they cross paths with a skeptical evangelical pastor, a gentle Catholic priest, a certifiable religious zealot, and an oversized transvestite drug dealer, all of whom lend their opinion. It's a quest for truth, sanity, and grace . . . and an unexpected love story.
I don't hesitate to lay a book down and skip going back to it. I belong to a mystery readers club that sends a portion of a book via e-mail every day. Usually, I know whether I want to open the excerpt the next day or not by what I read on day one. That's why I love the feature that CFBA is offering now -- the entire first chapter. I recommend that you read the first chapter of Wounded. Click here to do so.
Wounded is a challenging novel. Personally challenging in what will I, an evangelical Christian who has concerns about Catholic doctrines, do with a book that is very much about saints, stigmata and Christ's wounds? For starters, I won't recommend it to anyone who is confused about Mary worship vs. Christ worship. Can I recommend it to those who are mature enough in their walk with Christ that they know His words and His heart? Yes I can, because a person who is mature is going to be able to discern the truth throughout, within and behind this novel about very broken people who are in need and receipt of scandalous grace.
I know folks who won't read C.S. Lewis because of his deep questions. Others in my circle of influence don't believe a Catholic can be saved because of the tradition and error that stands between soul and Savior. Still others label things outside of their experience and knowledge heresy. If you fall into any of these camps, don't pick up Wounded because you will be offended.
However, if you believe that Jesus works today as He did when He walked the earth, that He is not bound by our expectations, that He is lavish and almost wasteful with His grace then read the first chapter. If you are intrigued by stories of those who sacrifice everything for Jesus or powerful and unexpected healing from hideous consequences and lives, Wounded may speak to the very center of your soul. If you are broken and don't want to be broken anymore, if you feel like you are a blindman and you are looking for another blindman who can accompany you while you search for freedom you may want to stumble to the bookstore to pick up a copy of this novel.
Claudia Mair Burney writes with passion and poignancy. She also writes as if she is using "ink" from her own veins. Her characters are haunting. People who are broken, blind and needy, and people I recognize when I walk through my safe little suburbs and sometimes even when I look into a mirror.
Wounded is not for everybody, but it is for some. I think you will know who you are.
Reviewed by: Kelly Klepfer