Thursday, May 21, 2015

"Wonders Never Cease" by Phil Callaway ~ Book Review

This is the sequel to "The Edge of the World" (Chronicles of Grace series) and continues Terry Anderson's story.  Terry is now 18 and in his senior year of high school.  He is struggling with his parent's faith and has pretty much decided to leave it behind though he hasn't told them that.  He can hardly wait to get out of church going small town Grace and start "living".   But as graduation nears his boring life is once again thrown into turmoil.  Just when he's deciding he doesn't believe his atheist friend is starting to ask all sorts of questions about faith which he is compelled to come up with answers to.  His mother's illness from Huntington's disease has caused her to have to take to her bed 24/7 for all intents and purposes stealing her from her family.  His brother Ben has secretly returned and now someone is looking for him.  And now to top it all off it would have to be him that comes across a dead body and once again he is faced with what to keep secret.

Although I did like the first installment of  this series (reviewed here in 2014, #21) a bit better I thought this a good read.  Terry is struggling with his faith and is in full fledged rebellion.  But the amusing part of it is that his friend (from the previous book) who's father is the town atheist and has raised him that way, is all of a sudden asking all sorts of questions which is forcing Terry to answer and revisit the faith of his own upbringing.   I found that part of the story quite appealing and realistic as a lot of teenagers face rebellion and questioning and finding their way in making faith their own and not just their parent's.  Secrets are coming to light in the town of Grace and once again Terry is faced with doing the right thing or keep more secrets.  With what happened to him when a youngster you'd think the decision would be automatic but it gets more complicated. And once again, Terry finds himself choosing to keep something that isn't his and seeing his whole life turning upside down for it.  I found Terry's 18 year old character a bit immature in his thinking and actions. I had to remind myself that his character was actually 18 and about to graduate quite a few times throughout the story. I literally wanted to tell him to grow up at times.   I did enjoy the narration of the story through his perspective, though. His mother's story was heartbreaking and you could see the confusion such an illness brings into the family.  It was a good exploration of both young and mature faith, legalism, facing illness, and broken trusts and finding grace in unexpected places.

Linking with Semicolon Saturday Review of Books

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