Friday, December 2, 2011

The Encounter by Stephen Arterburn

I just finished my second book from BookSneeze.  The first book I reviewed was excellent, and writing a review was super easy.  This time may be a little more tricky. 

I have a healthy respect for how difficult it is to write a story in a way that grabs the interest of the readers.  I know developing the story is a delicate balance between too many and too few details.  I am always very careful in my opinions of other people's work, whatever the nature.  I like to beat around the bush when asked my thoughts.  I never want to seem critical or insensitive to the creator's hard work.  See? Too many details. 

Alas, I have to write a review of The Encounter by Stephen Arterburn, and I did not enjoy this book.

Jonathan Rush was adopted as a child.  As an adult with anger issues, he embarks on a journey to discover why his mother abandoned him at an early age.  Along the way, he meets a woman named Mercy, who knows much more about his past than she is ready to reveal.  He makes an unlikely friend in the form of a tenacious reporter.  And he finds the truth about his childhood as well as the truth about healing and forgiveness.

The book is short.  The development of the characters even shorter.  I had a hard time connecting with the story, although the premise of it was good.  Conflict, both person-to-person as well as the main character's emotional conflict,  was resolved too quickly for my taste.  Even at the risk of stereotyping, I'm going to have to say that conflict was resolved in typical male form.  What's the problem?  How can we most logically fix it?  Okay, we'll do that.  Done. 

Would I recommend this book?  As much as I hate to be negative, no, I wouldn't. 

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