Monday, April 4, 2011
Book Review: Healing Stones
In general, I like to read series books in the order they are written. However, when I picked up Healing Waters, I did so based on the appealing cover alone. After reading the blurb on the back, I discovered that it was a "Sullivan Crisp" novel. I do wish that I had read them in order. My knowledge of Sullivan Crisp's background was already intact prior to the introduction of his difficulties in this first book.
There are many similarities between the two first books of the Sullivan Crisp series. Like Healing Waters, this first book, Healing Stones, did not present the Christian world as a cheery place where everyone always agrees with each other. Indeed, the Christian college where the main character has worked is rife with political unrest. I appreciate the avoidance of sugar-coating. Both books also present flawed individuals who must face their own inner demons in order to find a place of healing.
I had a more difficult time accepting this book, Healing Stones. I'm guessing it is because the book's main character, Demetria Costanas, is a Christian college professor caught in the throes (or the exit, as she would assert) of an adulterous relationship. It isn't that I don't believe people in such a position could fall prey to the sin of adultery. It was more the presentation of a character consumed by this sin yet unwilling to recognize any mitigating factors which might have led her down that road.
I guess I just didn't buy the idea that both she and her husband would place all of the blame squarely on her shoulders alone. My inner gut said that anyone whose spouse turns to someone else, has a knee-jerk reaction of self-assessment (asking where they themselves had failed to meet the other's needs). I was also uncomfortable with the son's reaction. He steps up to shield his family from the mother's "wickedness." I found this difficult to accept as well. My willful suspension of disbelief was certainly taxed.
Having said that, however, I still must assert that this was a good, engaging, and thought-provoking book. It held my interest throughout (couldn't put it down - trite as that always sounds). Moreover, the premise of the book was a useful one. So often, we do stand ready to cast the first stones over our failures and short-comings. Satan would like nothing more than to immobilize us when we fall. God stands ready to forgive, yet we hang on to our self-loathing.
I'll look forward to reading the third in this series, titled Healing Sands. After all, who couldn't use even a little more healing in life?