Well, writing this blog review took a bit longer than I anticipated. You get the long playing version that includes my commentary and usual closing here. I posted the straight reviews on Amazon and Goodreads.
Here’s what I like about reading a Davis Bunn novel. It takes less than one minute to get pulled into the story. His characters are well-drawn. He really knows how to capture the voice of people (the gender, the ethnicity and the generation); and he provides more than one perspective.
The Turning, his latest book, is significant, gripping, heraldic, hopeful and intentional. I’ll just tell you point blank, you need to read this book!
There are so many directions I can go with this review, but I’m going to go the way of my heart.
Imagine being inspired to perpetuate a viral mindset that revolves around the death of all hope. It is an invitation to entertain all that is dark, fearful, evil and devastating to the psyche and life of mankind. At heart, you are launching an attack against God, His Word and His people.
Now imagine being invited by God Himself to be part of a team of individuals gathered to confront that viral message.
You are caught up in the fast pace of one man’s unsavory ambition to take down the church and then you are called to a front row seat to watch the Almighty’s strategy unfold. John, Alisha, Jenny, Ruth and Yussuf, the five men and women central to the story respond to God’s voice inviting them to “take the turning, and walk the unlikely road…and you will find Me there.” Each individual knew precisely what He wanted them to do, and they obeyed.
The scripture speaks of those without God being without hope. It also speaks to the hope that is ours in Jesus Christ. The story revolves around those two positions, with the adversarial camp seeking to capitalize on the hopelessness of this generation. It may seem like a small thing, but I believe it captures the essence of our current day societal mindset.
Mr. Bunn heralds the message to those who choose to listen to get ready, for this same confrontation is being played out in social media today. Because that is so, I found it inescapable that I would also have to make a turning of my own before I finished the book. And I did.
Some may find this book “preachy.” It isn’t, it’s simply that it confronts the reader and challenges the comfort zone, even as it shows the love of God and the delineation between His Light and darkness. This is uncomfortable for some, outrageous and pushy for others. Why? It is because God is intentional and He wants His people to make His position clear to all. He desires that none should perish, so everyone gets a chance to accept or reject His love and His message of hope.
Even Trent, the ambitious young man in the story gets a chance to turn toward hope. In this book, there is no happy ending, just a deep breath between one accomplished victory and the next onslaught. The adversary is not vanquished for good…yet. Hopefully this means a sequel.
Do you ever experience a moment within yourself where you have to choose between despair and determination? It is the intent of the Father that you are victorious. When God talks, do you want to hear what He has to say or do you want Him to say what you want to hear? That is the difference between moving toward a hope filled life and moving away from it.
I think that is the cornerstone of our ability or lack thereof in being able to hear Him. It’s how we choose to listen, and how we choose to hear. It’s that choice either to listen to Him or to tell Him what you want Him to say to you. In that same vein, a great many of the supporting characters had turnings of their own to make.
What if God asked you, “Who will go for Me”? What if you then responded like the prophet Isaiah: “Here am I Lord, send me.” And then God said to you, “Take the turning, and walk the unlikely road. Take the turning, and you will find Me there.” Would you do it? Are you ready to take the turning?
When He asks you, what will you say? You already know that you don’t have to respond to my questions. After all …I’m just asking.
I received a complimentary copy of The Turning from River North Fiction in exchange for my honest review.
You can also download the free devotional or read the first three chapters by clicking here: theturningbook.com/