Friday, June 28, 2013

The Recovery of Love

There's an awkward moment in life when you end up playing a competitive sport against your line manager. You need to lose, obviously, but how badly? I recall weighing this up when challenged to table tennis by my training incumbent in about 1985. I needn't have worried. He activated a vicious switch I had not seen thus far and absolutely trounced me. He even argued a couple of doubtful points when he was already winning by miles.

So. My commissioning editor at BRF, the person responsible for allowing me to write faith books, asks me to review hers.

The Recovery of Love
(Walking the way of wholeness)
Naomi Starkey
BRF 2012

I took it on holiday. How can I say this? It's good and I didn't like it. That's not a fudge. For me all competitive sports against line managers involve trying to trounce them and rub their faces in the dirt.

This book is a journey. Each stage of the journey is a metaphor, allegory if you like, but an allegory which is cashed out from the Bible telling us a lot about the things that are being modelled.

One of the cover endorsements says this won't be for everyone but then suggests that those who like thinking differently will enjoy the journey. Well I do, but sadly I didn't. It did take me on a journey but not one I much cared for.

That said this is a very different book, well written although perhaps suffering from two separate (competing?) narrative devices. Also, I suspect the book is more emotionally mature than I am.

I will gladly invite people to read it as part of a retreat or quiet day. You only need to lock on to one thought, question or helpful 'for reflection' quote at the end of each chapter.

I offered it to guests at a quiet day yesterday. Four people looked at it. Two liked it, one didn't and one wasn't so sure. One will buy it.

If one out of four browsers choose to buy it will do well as long as there are enough places left in the world for browsing.

Take a walk into a busy city and see the parallels with your walk into faith. For some it is a gentle stroll; for others a nightmare ride. All fares please.

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