The Book Club is looking to get a little spiritual on you this week. We love any and all genres here at the Club, and today we have a piece of Christian fiction that we hope will give us a new look on inspiring works of literature. I’ve been known to enjoy a good Christian movie or two, even when they tackle an issue in a style I don’t personally agree with. I can still feel and appreciate the underlying passion that benefits the type of art that it belongs to. In this episode of the Book Club, let’s head to the simple, beautiful mountains of Tennessee and take on an interpretation of faith that has lasted there for generations.
A Journey of Faith: A Stepping Stones Mystery by Ann Harrison is a unique combination of spiritual fiction and murder mystery that provides ample amounts of each ingredient to please lovers of both genres. Becca is a 28 year old IT specialist that has been carrying a personal burden for most of her adult life. While hiking as a youngster, Becca witnessed the death of a young girl after she slipped on the mysteriously dangerous “stepping stones” inside a popular mountain venue. Despite her best efforts to escape the personal grief by leaving her family life and pursuing a career in Memphis, Becca feels drawn to go back to where this all took place to find out what happened, once and for all. There is no question from the point of view of the reader as to who is providing this pull to Becca, as God is a key player in the lives of all the characters.
The inclusion of God as a character is a device that makes this piece of spiritual fiction stand out from the rest of the pack. In my opinion, there’s no need to leave the subject up for debate in this story’s universe. God is here, and God is there for you if you reach out to Him. A brief aside, I fully appreciate the issues of the story being solely about personal relationships with God. No thoughts on politics, no commentary on sexual relations, just a pure embracing of faith. Prayer is a tool used by all the good characters in the story, with near instant response from the almighty guiding those who seek Him on the correct path. I say good characters, however there’s really not that many elements of the alternative. Yes, the young woman who perished on the mountainside did so due to foul play, but there’s some interpretation about the motives to said evil. I chose to believe that there is no real antagonist in the sense of it being a person. There are only three types of people in this novel’s world: followers of God, those who need to accept Him, and Satan. Any antagonist with a soul needs to simply reach out through prayer and see the light, quickly to make amends in order to join the “good guys” in solving the mystery. It probably sounds like I’m simplifying for the sake of criticism, but I actually appreciate this mechanic. Not every story needs to have a horrible struggle with antagonists constantly getting the upper hand. It’s a battle of self, and the strongest path to success comes from finding your best relationship with the world that surrounds you.
Verdict: A Journey of Faith by Ann Harrison is a spiritual fiction in the truest sense of the word. While not a traditional story in the aspect of pacing or tone, there is something to appreciate when it comes to the characters using the power of prayer to make their world a better place. The novel’s conclusion might be missing that little something to make it more familiar and digestible to the mainstream, however I don’t think that’s the point. The destination is the journey, and it’s a journey of faith.
A special thanks to Ann Harrison for providing a copy of A Journey of Faith to TehBen.com for review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Author’s Website: annwritesinspiration.com
Author’s Twitter: @annwrites75
Purchase Link: Amazon