Monday, July 12, 2010

Book Review of THE JOURNEY HOME by Michael Baron

By Michael Baron
ISBN-13 978-0-9819568-6-2
The Story Plant
Reviewer Clint Walker

As THE JOURNEY HOME begins, Warren’s life sounds like a bad country song. His wife has left him. He lost his job. On top of all this, Warren’s mother Antoinette is in an assisted living facility and dying of Alzheimer’s disease.

At the same time, a man named Joseph awakens in a strange place. He does not know where he is or where he is from. Joseph runs into a young man named Billy who offers him the opportunity to get out on the open road and rediscover his memory and his old life.

The book alternates between the stories of Antoinette, Warren, and Joseph. Throughout the novel, each character looks to the past to help them find their way in the present. It is an extremely well-written book that tugs at one’s heart strings.

One of the unique things about the story was the interrelationship between food, memory, and home. Walter spends most of the novel recreating his mother’s old recipes in her apartment as a way of reaching her and connecting to her memory. Each significant movement in the novel is accompanied by a meal. And the whole novel centers around both Joseph and Antoinette’s struggles with remembering.

This book has been marketed as a Christian novel in some circles Even though this book is an excellent read, I believe it will be a disappointment to readers who are expecting a Christian novel. The name of Christ is never mentioned. The theology of the afterlife communicated in this novel contradicts the plain teaching of Scripture. The only way this book seems Christian is that the whole novel communicates traditional values and a high regard for family life. For many readers seeking a Christian inspirational novel, this will not be enough.

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