Thursday, August 12, 2010
Homecoming by Jason Garrett
Synopsis From Back Cover:
On a perfect autumn night in the coastal village of Wicker Bay, a young couple was attacked and a life was forever changed. When teenager Nickel Warren awoke she learned her boyfriend, Eric, had mysteriously vanished. Seemingly the only person on Bishop’s Island eager to find him, Nickel devoted her life to learning what happened to her first love on that tragic night. Though the years provided no clues or comfort, she never allowed herself to stop believing Eric was alive.
Now, after an eighteen year absence Eric Kade has resurfaced on Bishop’s Island under circumstances as unsettling as his disappearance. Though reunited, Nickel’s search for answers is sidelined by another horrific event more deeply connected to her childhood sweetheart than she can imagine. Living as a preacher, Eric has traveled the world for nearly two decades hunting demons in a sect named The Progeny. But a chilling prophecy has named him as a threat and turned his fellow hunters against him.
With a sense of urgency, Eric has come back to the island not to rekindle the past but to protect the home he loves from an oncoming war. Relying on the help of a rare group of locals, he builds a network of his own to defend the unknowing against a world he has come to know too well. As he works to prepare a haven, Eric will strengthen his bond with Nickel and introduce her to a world of miraculous events and unholy terror.
Since the summary provides a really good introduction to the book, it will allow me to really explore how I felt about the book and my growing awareness of how diverse Christian fiction is. I'm going to be honest, I'm still a little confused by what makes a book fall under the category of Christian fiction.
The basic premise of the book is that there is a group of warriors who protect the world from demons, witches, and other such ilk. They come from a wide range of backgrounds but are all deeply devoted to the mission. Eric was one of the highest ranking members of the organization until the guy in charge claims to have a prophetic vision that reveals Eric will betray them and cause the death of another in the group. Eric flees for his life even though many in the group don't believe it and even help him out later on.
When he gets home he meets up with his ex girlfriend and despite the fact they are both keeping secrets from each other, they tentatively start off where things left off. The action quickly picks up (demonic not sexual) and before you know it Eric has a group of churchmen and laypeople around him who know the truth and are willing to help him out. Throughout the violence there is quite a bit dialogue about God's love and redemption, which is why, at least I assume it's the reason, this is considered to be Christian fiction.
And that comes to the crux of the question I have about this book, what makes something Christian? If it's just the fact that good Christian men, women, or churchmen fight evil and come out triumphantly because they have the strength of God on their side, then books like The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty and The Sentinel by Jeffrey Konvitz would have to be considered in the category. I'm not sure anyone is willing to do that though. Or does is rest solely in the intentions of the author, is it one of those situations that if the author or publisher say it's Christian fiction, then it is? Is it the fact that beneath the violence and demon hunting that God's love and faith in him is what allows the characters to fight the good fight? Is it simply that they two main characters never hook up sexually because Eric is now a pastor and sex outside of marriage is wrong?
This book left me more than a little curious about what defines the genre then I was about the book itself. Now don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed this book and hopefully will be able to read the next one in the series, since this one ends in such a way I'm left with a burning desire to understand why a character is behaving the way they are. So I'm going leave you by asking everyone a question, what in your opinions makes a book Christian fiction?