For it is by grace you have been saved...

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Book Review: Higher Hope (a bit late)

My apologies to the folks at Thomas Nelson. I agreed to review the occasional book for them and have been fairly prompt in the past. However, this latest book caught me at a time when reading a novel was pretty low on the priority list. So, even though the book isn’t all that “new”, I’ll offer the review anyway.

I’ve enjoyed Robert Whitlow since I read The List several years ago. (A movie has actually been made from that one, in case you didn’t know). The last couple of his books have been a little less to my personal taste. Higher Hope, book two in the "Tides of Truth" series, picks up the story of a young summer law clerk on the heels of her “adventures” in Deeper Water.

Tami Taylor is the product of a ultra conservative upbringing and the stories hinge mainly on her struggles with remaining faithful to her strong faith while operating in the big world of law in Savannah, GA.

As a conservative homeschool father myself, I’ve appreciated Whitlow’s portrayal of this particular homeschooler in such a positive light, even though I disagree with some of the legalistically fundamental beliefs and practices of her family. The struggle to remain true to your faith in a world that ridicules your beliefs, family, etc. is one that many of us face on a daily basis; and Whitlow’s stories highlight those difficulties in a helpful way.

However, I didn’t enjoy Higher Hope as much as previous works for two main reasons. One, too much time was spent on the inner turmoil of a burgeoning “love triangle” as Tami finds herself being pursued by two young men. I know the market is aimed more at female readers, but for those of us who enjoy the occasional escape by Grisham-esque authors like Whitlow, the dominance of the romance was a little hard to take.

And two, the main plotline (other than romance) in this story centered on a old woman preacher/prophet who was calling out the sins of a particular business developer who is trying to purchase her church property. Without going into detail, there was much in the theology of that story line that I had personal issues with. Others may not find it as bothersome, but Whitlow’s positive portrayal of someone I consider to be on the fringe of biblical orthodoxy and orthopraxy made the story less enjoyable for me.

Again, I’m a fan of Whitlow. And I did enjoy the supportive view of those of us on the more conservative end of things. However, my personal preference would be to return to the “legal thriller” mode and leave the romance to others. Guys need good books, too, right?

1 comment:

Applied Christianity said...

If you think your bad, I am not even half-way through the book I am reviewing. Not that I don't like it. It is thought provoking and it isn't a book you can zoom through and get much out of.