Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Adrian Plass's Silver Birches~ Reviewed
Silver Birches: A Novel (Paperback)
Paperback: 192 pages
Publisher: Zondervan (June 1, 2009)
It's been six months since his wife's death, and David Herrick is numb with grief. So when Angela, an old acquaintance from youth group, invites him to a reunion at Headly Manor, he's inclined to refuse---until she says she has something from his beloved Jessica. Will he find the healing he seeks? Formerly titled Ghosts.
I can't believe that this book sat in a to-be-read pile for months. I don't know if it was the bland cover in the monochromatic silvers and grays. Or if it was the subject matter, a well-known Christian speaker loses his wife and the story begins in the midst of his depression and struggles. Whatever it was, don't make the same mistake I did.
If you love prose that often reads like poetry (the good kind), thought-provoking, faith-tweaking, realistic fiction, or love British authors, then pick up this book.
Rich, rich, rich details and storytelling poke at sensitive spots in Christ followers. The scenario of half a dozen youth group friends meeting for a weekend twenty years or so after last seeing each other sounds like it might be a bit like a Christianized/sanitized version of The Big Chill. There are moments it feels like that. But that might be because real Christians also have personalities and issues that don't look a whole lot different from unbelievers. And though similar to the storyline of The Big Chill, it's not actually sanitized a whole lot. A big theme is the Christian and his or her sexuality. Then toss in the waves that nearly drown followers when God does not do as He is expected and instead bad, awful, inexplicably hideous things happen that leave us gasping for air and a break. An even bigger one...what if a person, a good person prays and asks to be delivered from something yet still struggles with it twenty years later? Oh yeah. This book, tiny though it is -- less than 200 pages -- is heavy and deep.
I am so glad I read this book. I'll be investigating other Plass offerings. Powerful.
Reviewed by: Kelly Klepfer