Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Book Review ~ Unwritten by Charles Martin

I could hardly wait for this newest story from Charles Martin.  I tried to win a copy but alas, it was not to be.  So I used a precious chunk of my book store gift card.  And, to me, it was worth it.

Unwritten is the story of two lives.  Two lives which are overtaken with pain.  Katie Quinn is a world famous actress who is revered the world over.  But the fame and the pain are threatening to cause her to want to end it all.  Sunday is a fishing guide when he wants to work and a recluse most all the time.  Keeping to himself has been his way and his choice for many years, so when his trusted and only friend, Father Steady, asks him to help out a friend of his, the famous Katie Quinn, Sunday balks at the suggestion.  When Sunday finally agrees to help the troubled actress out of her troubles, he doesn't realize that it is just the beginning of a long and hard journey that the both of them will walk together.  One that will lead to leaving the comfort zone he has built for himself and confronting painful secrets from both of their pasts before they can move on with hope for their futures.

This was a very sad story yet infused with hope.  There are only 3 main characters in the story and two of them are so filled with past baggage and pain that it pushes them to the edge.  Father Steady, the priest that is the connection between the two of them, is just what his name suggests;  the steady, trusted friend to the both of them who recognizes they will need each other to confront that pain if they are each to find peace.  A few reviews I read said they didn't like it because it seemed to be about the filthy rich whining about their problems.  Though I did get frustrated with the some of actions, reactions and attitudes of  mostly Katie, to me the story was more than that.  The story showed me that no matter the amount of money you earn, your popularity, your power, your fame or your station in life it does not make you immune to desperate pain.  And the avenues and choices used to mask or bury the pain will always have consequences of their own, sometimes taking on a life of their own.  The story also brought out for me that we need each other and  that using the gifts God has given you is a path to one's own healing, that we need to stay open and realize that we may have something that is within us to give to another.  The story made me think of how I handle my own deep hurts and how I forgive and what I do with the gifts God has given me.

It's been difficult to start the next book.  As with Martin's other stories I've read,  I tend to really mull them over long after I close the last page.  I don't know if it's because they emotionally put me through the wringer, in a good way.  He has a way of connecting emotionally with his characters and then conveying that emotion to me, the reader.   Or if it's because he just has such a lovely way with words and descriptions that I just keep dwelling on the prose or if it's because the stories are all so involving and I become really invested in the characters.  But I mostly think it's because his characters and stories usually cause me to think of my own life and faith and what I do with them.

There's a reading group guide at the back and interestingly the author also answers the discussion questions after the interview with the author at the back.


Karen said...

A few years ago, I read "When Crickets Cry" by Charles Martin. It was just as you described it, the story stayed with me for days afterward. I just checked out his website and had no idea he's written so many books. This one sounds like a good one -- another for my pile!

Faith said...

yet another book to add to my list! sounds great. I am on a waiting list for a Charles Martin book. I never read any of his and want to start since you speak so highly of him. I love a good book that sticks with ya.

Barbara H. said...

I have felt that, too, that his writing was beautiful, deep, and thought-provoking, even when I didn't agree exactly with some of his theological premises (at least in one book). I am eager to read another of his.

hopeinbrazil said...

Popping in via Semicolon Saturday Book Reviews. Love your header! Thanks for introducing me to Charles Martin, an author who sounds really good.

Beckie B. said...

Thanks for your thoughts on Unwritten. My church book club is reading it this month. Really looking forward to it.