Thursday, October 30, 2008

Eric Wilson's Fireproof~ Reviewed

By Eric Wilson
Published by Thomas Nelson
312 pages

Back Cover: Inside burning buildings, captain Caleb Holt lives by the firefighter's adage: "Never Leave Your Partner".

Growing up, his wife Catherine always dreamed of marrying a loving, brave firefighter…just like her father. Now, after seven years of marriage, she wonders when she stopped being "good enough". Countless arguments and anger have them wanting to move on to something with more sparks.

As they prepare for divorce, Caleb's father challenges him to commit to a 40-day experiment. "The Love Dare", wondering if it's even worth the effort, Caleb agrees, for his father's sake more than for his marriage.

Surprised by what he discovers about the meaning of love, Caleb realizes that his wife and marriage are worth fighting for. His job is to rescue others. Now Captain Holt is ready to face his toughest job ever…rescuing his wife's heart.

Review: Caleb is a hero – a hero, that is, to everyone but his wife.

What has happened lately? Things were so great! When did things start to change? Now his wife wants out – "fine" he thinks. I'll give her out!! He seems to be the only one doing anything in this marriage anyway. He never gets any respect from his wife. Doesn't she see all he pays for and does in their marriage? She just doesn't get it!! Caleb's thoughts begin to turn to divorce.

When Caleb tells his father that he has been thinking of a divorce, his father asks him to hold off on the divorce for 40 days. His dad says that there is a book that he wants Caleb to read -- and follow what it tells him to do. Out of respect for his father, he honors this request. The book arrives in the mail – the front cover reads "LOVE DARE". Caleb starts to read this book "Man, can dad be serious? Why does he have to do this?" Caleb starts out doing this dare half-heartedly. He does what he can to get by!! He skips over all the scripture verses (that's his dad's thing not his), but he does the practical things mentioned in the book -- nothing more.

Caleb and Katherine get into a huge fight one day. She definitely wants out and after the fight he is willing to let her go. This "Love Dare" thing is a joke. He calls his father and informs him that the dare is off. His father asks if he could just talk to him before he makes up his mind about anything. Caleb agrees. Caleb's father shares with him how life can be challenging and how he almost gave up on his marriage too! Caleb is surprised, but then again knowing his mother, he isn't. The discussion goes ok until his father starts talking about his relationship with Jesus. Caleb didn't need a crutch – he didn't need any help -- thank you very much!! But in a scary way, his father was starting to make sense. Caleb agrees that the choices he's made in life have gotten him this far,but it wasn't pretty to look at. What to do?? This was really tough stuff!

The author, Eric Wilson, had his work cut out for him when he turned the movie "Fire Proof" into a book. It is a powerful story. Although I had seen the movie two times before reading the book, it did not spoil the experience for me; it actually filled in the missing pieces the movie didn't cover. The book helped answer the questions I had in my mind while watching the movie. Questions like: How did Catherine and Caleb meet? What was their marriage like before it went bad? It kind of eludes to why their marriage was very strained in the movie, but what did Caleb really think about what he was doing on the internet? How did Catherine feel about it all? Who was Gavin? This book also includes pictures from the movie, information on the making of the movie, and a great letter from Stephen Kendrick about his experience with "Fire Proof" from his point of view. This book has it all -- it even includes discussion questions for your book club meeting.

This book takes the movie a little deeper for you with the action, funny scenes and romance. Eric Wilson does a great job of telling the rest of the story that the movie didn't have time to tell. I enjoyed the book so much, I was compelled to do a search for other books that Eric Wilson has written. Eric has written other novelizations' such as "Fly Wheel" and "Facing the Giants". Some of his other books include "Dark to Mortal Eyes", "Expiration Date" and his newest book "Field of Blood". You'll definitely want to check them out! In Eric's other books, he is not limited creatively and really comes alive in his story telling – you definitely won't be disappointed -- I know I wasn't!!!

Nora St. Laurent
– Book Club Servant Leader

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