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Mountain Top - eBook
Thomas Nelson / 2006 / ePub
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In Robert Whitlows novel Mountain Top, Sam Miller is an aging gentleman who runs a private lawn care business and has a fondness for his wife Muriels good foodbut theres more to him than meets the eye. Each night Sam is bestowed divine dreams that tell him what is happening in other places and in other peoples lives. He follows up on these dreams, writing letters to some people and speaking personally to others. By most in Sheldon, he is considered crazy but harmlesscertainly not a likely candidate for Felon of the Week. But then hes arrested, charged with embezzling $100,000 from a local church. And the only lawyer he wants to represent him is retired.
Mike Andrews is satisfied with his life right now. Hes been out of the legal arena for some time and is happily pastoring the Little Creek Church. Then Muriel Miller suddenly turns up in his office and asks him to visit her husband, whos been in jail for three months. She says Sam had dreamed about Mike coming to the jail for a visit, and she hints at Sam wanting legal aid. So, reluctantly, Mike visits Sam in jail.
Suddenly, Mike is catapulted headfirst into the legal arena, a world he thought hed left for good. Amid the baffling riddles of Sams dreams and the duplicity of the courts, Mike fights to find the basis of the charges, defend his innocent client, and learn deeper truths about Godor, as Sam calls Him, Papa.
Author Whitlow uses a familiar premisea man who sees things in dreamsand takes it to the next level. Sam Miller doesnt see the future, per se; instead, he sees images that have something to do with what is happening or what will happen in his life or the lives of people around him. And Whitlow puts this concept into a modern southern setting without it seeming unnatural or awkward.
The characters are also familiar types, but they too are interpreted in entirely new ways. Sam Miller reminds us all of the wise old man or the gentle grandfather, but Whitlow turns these stereotypes into a surprisingly strong central character with a genuine and vibrant Christian walk. Mike Andrews may be a lawyer, but he is also a ministera combination which, as one of the characters says, must make the angels scratch their wings in amazement. Throughout Mountain Top, Mikes understanding is stretched and his faith is deepened as Sam teaches him a new meaning for the word ministry.
Mountain Tops plot shares a common structure with most other legal novels, and, thus, might run the risk of being predictablebut that only continues to a point. Whitlow takes the basic structure and builds on it, adding strong Christian themes and keeping the readers on their toes; even when theres a twist clearly in sight, its still a surprise.
As if all that wasnt enough, Whitlows writing style is icing on a delicious literary cake. He manages a unique combination of smoothness and suspense, maintaining a gentle surface tone without compromising the underlying sense of tension, the tautness of a hard battle in the courts. The pacing is also perfect: not so fast that the reader is left choking on dust, but not lagging behind the story, either.
Overall, Mountain Top is an excellent book. Everything falls in perfect balance, from the plot to the characters to the Christian message to heaping helpings of Muriels delectable fried chicken. Even if you dont normally read legal novels, Robert Whitlows Mountain Top comes highly recommended. Rachel Niehaus, Christian Book Previews.com
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