Riven by Jerry B. Jenkins

Book description:

A boy with a troubled childhood . . . becomes a reluctant criminal . . . becomes a broken man on death row who just wants to die. A failed pastor . . . rejected by those he only wants to help . . . finds a new calling. Thomas Carey and Brady Wayne Darby couldn’t be more different. One is a washed-up pastor hoping desperately to make a difference; the other is a criminal who’s worst crime is always the one he’s about to commit. One diligently serves God; the other diligently serves himself. And yet . . . both are sinners in need of grace. So take the first step on a journey to transformation. Join the murderer and the chaplain. Choose between a life of crime and a life of purpose and prepare to leave the ranks of the hopelessly lost and find the One who can save even the most troubled soul.

My review:

I am a fan of Jerry B. Jenkins and have been for many years. This book reminded me of why I enjoy reading his books so much.

The book shifts from Brady’s story to Thomas’s story throughout most of the book. I kept wondering when their stories would intertwine because it seemed like they were destined to meet, but I wasn’t sure when or how it would happen. The pace of the book is storytelling at its finest. It is so very slow throughout much of the book, but then accelerates until the end. It could not have been better.

In a note from the author, Jenkins wrote that he hopes “it stays with you long after the final page”. This one certainly does. I find I cannot stop thinking about it. Even though it is such a sad story, it is one filled with hope. It reassures readers that perseverance pays off. Thomas remains committed to his calling, even when he see no progress or fruit. Thomas and Grace remain committed to praying for their prodigal, even when she assures them time and again that she will never return to church.

I love books that leave readers thinking after the last page has been read. I also love books that are realistic; life isn’t always neat and clean.

This is an example of storytelling at its finest. I think a lot of readers would enjoy this book.

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