And ain’t that beautiful.
I’ll say it again. I am no sort of expert on modern [or other] fiction. I’ve read so very little of it. I used to indulge on occasion in John Grisham and…well maybe it was only John Grisham and the one time I bemused a sister by reading a Janette Oke book.
I think that my put-offishness has been a stifling detriment to me. While my elementary years were marked by multiple trips per week walking back and forth from the library (before book bags were invented), I put away the fiction reading as a teen and young adult. I dove deep into Narnia only 4-5 years ago to get back into the stream. The long absence of good fiction has limited my imagination and dried me in some way.
Thankfully, my vocation also demands that I make a lifestyle of the ideals that I promote, and I heartily promote the value of a beautiful story–story that reflects The Story. And so over the past year and a half as I have begun reading this new fiction of Andrew Peterson, Pete Peterson, Nate Wilson and now Jonathan Rogers, it has been a joy to see my mind shifting from the notion that fiction is more than an indulgence, but it’s good for the soul. It’s good for rounding out and adding depth, and it doesn’t have to be a waste of time when used in moderation as part of the reader’s healthy diet.
And so this book by Jonathan Rogers (a fellow Nashvillian) came highly recommended by AP; he likened it to Mark Twain and C.S. Lewis rolled into one. And it does feel very Mark Twain-ish, and it’s a really fun read set in something very similar to our old American South.
It’s the story of an boy who doesn’t belong, a youth who said, “I only know one man who might be able to tell me where I come from, and that man is a liar and a fraud.” The conflict comes from his deep desire to belong to something, almost anything, while all the while hanging on for dear life through a fracas of misadventures and huckster exploits.
This would make a great read to your kids, also, although the narrator’s voice is a low-flying-level of hick English, which is beautifully written but probably more difficult to replicate out loud.
This copy was provided for review by Waterbrook Multnomah, and I commend it to your reading also. Enjoyably, the sequel will follow later this year.