Wednesday, June 5, 2013

A Season of Mysteries




Title:  A Season of Mysteries
Author:  Rusty Whitener
Pages:  350
Year:  2013
Publisher:  Kregel Publications
                I chose this book based on the title and picture on the cover, thinking it was a mystery with a classic whodunit to solve.  I couldn’t have been more wrong.  This is definitely not a typical mystery.  This story involves some mysterious happenings, but has more to do with becoming aware of the unseen battle between good and evil fought 24/7.  What role do we play, if any, in this battle?  This is a follow-up to the author’s first novel, A Season of Miracles, which I haven’t read, but plan on doing so.
                The story is told from the point of view of Richard Powell.  It begins with him as a 52-year-old professor, who thinks he might be going a little crazy as he can’t get conversations out of his mind.  He is an ability to remember conversations verbatim, and he has started reliving conversations from 1976 and can’t stop.  His two professor friends advise him to journal his thoughts/conversations as therapy.  Via flashback technique, we visit Richard as a teenager in his home state of Alabama. 
Richard is a 15-year-old genius who tries to hide his intelligence because he just wants to lead a normal life and fit in with all the other kids.  He is extremely well-read and on course to graduate high school very early.  He is a fan of J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis.  He has four or five very close friends, who are fellow Christians like himself.  They have a bond that was formed during a Little League baseball season five years prior in 1971 and their relationship with Rafer, who has since died.  They attend church and Boy Scouts together.  Just to read about teenage life in 1976, which is when most of the story takes place, is so very enjoyable.  There are many funny scenes and comments sprinkled throughout.
Things take a more serious vein and talk turns to angels and demons.  Are they real?  Can a person believe in angels and not demons?  What is their role?  Can they be seen by humans?  Can they harm humans or influence their decisions?  The questions and thoughts Richard has are sometime mind-blowing in their depth.  What a mind!  Richard is in the habit of thinking before he speaks which I admire greatly and wish I could do better myself.
This book made me think about what I believe and why I believe what I do.  It made me laugh out loud.  It took me back to memories of my teenage years.  The teenagers portrayed in this story appear so much more sophisticated and intellectual than I remember myself or any other teenager I knew at that time.  It was really stunning to hear some of their conversations and their comments or questions were sometimes very thought-provoking and deep.  The book has a very entertaining plot with characters that come to life and leap off the pages right into the readers’ thoughts.  The writing is excellent!  Put on your thinking cap for this one and get ready to use it for sure.
My rating is 5 stars.
Note:  I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book.  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility.  Other reviews can be read at http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspot.com/ .  Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/lisa.johnson.75457
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