January 10, 2012

Gather Sticks Along the Way Review!

So I just finished up Gather Sticks Along the Way and I have to say if nothing else, it was a really interesting read. I'll post more after I have a little time for my thoughts about this book to digest a bit but I thought I would take this time to tell y'all I finished it, the review will come soon, and it was a pretty good read!

Amazon Description: When God commanded Abraham to carry Isaac up the mountain, the boy was told by his father to gather sticks to build an altar. With each piece he gathered he unknowingly contributed to his own sacrifice. But before the blade would fall an angel of God would appear. The entire parable hinged on Abraham's faith in God's plan and his determination to carry it out with his own hands.

Charles is an average man. He has a loving family and is solid in his own beliefs. But his faith is soon tested with the loss of his son and Charles becomes a man driven by the need for answers. He needs to know what happened to his child and is prepared to do anything to find out. As simple actions by multiple individuals begin to unfold, a tragedy is formed and Charles is caught in the middle. Throughout it all he knows he is not alone. He knows God is with him. As Charles begins to see signs of what he believes to be the truth behind his son's disappearance, he's unsure if these come from God or if they are just coincidences. Is it his vengeance that propels him or is he just doing God's plan? His faith will either see him through this catastrophe or cause him to lose all he has left.

What I thought about it: I was really surprised by this book! When I read the biblical reference (btw, always had trouble with that story but that's just me) and the description I expected more of a Christian book with a man struck by tragedy who's working through his own tests of faith and trying to build his life up again based upon his trust of God. That's not what this was at all! This does  

The book was short but REALLY well written with amazing descriptions! The only thing I may not have bought was Charles's reaction to his son being kidnapped even though he's certain that Chuck has been killed. He tries to keep it together and go about his regular life as if nothing happened after a week or so. But you do see Charles and his wife break down in one touching scene which I actually liked. 

I think it shows the authors talent when he makes me feel sympathetic to a sex offender! You see the life of Leonard, a sex offender who has been rehabilitated and released; you also see him go down to the basement to fondle the "trophies" (buttons, hair berets, etc.) that he took from each of his victims so it was quite easy to hate him. But Mills had me believing that Leonard was actually helpless and changed! There is a moment  where Charles confronts Leonard and we actually switch sides! At least, I kind of did. I couldn't condemn Charles too much for his actions, maybe his reaction after but not his action too much  but I think it shows amazing talent to make me feel even a little sympathetic to Leonard. 

I liked how parts of this book were just the person did this or that or the car drove down and the door opened. There was some mystery to the book, you didn't find out who was actually behind his son's disappearance until the last couple chapters! I also TOTALLY wasn't expecting the end of it! Even with any lingering sympathies that might have been aroused with the thought of having no one and nothing, I was pretty much ok with Charles getting off scott free! 

As a whole I'd say this book is pretty awesome. I'd definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a quick read with some mystery and twists and that's ok with things being not always rainbows and ponies. I want to thank Tyler Mills for sending me his book to review because I really did enjoy it and I think y'all should hit up Amazon and buy it here


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