Silver Birches (Formerly Ghosts)   -     By: Adrian Plass
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Silver Birches (Formerly Ghosts)

Zondervan / 2009 / Paperback

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Product Description

It's been six months since his wife's death, and David Herrick is numb with grief. So when Angela, an old acquaintance from youth group, invites him to a reunion at Headly Manor, he's inclined to refuse---until she says she has something from his beloved Jessica. Will he find the healing he seeks? Formerly titled Ghosts. 240 pages, softcover from Zondervan.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 240
Vendor: Zondervan
Publication Date: 2009
Dimensions: 8.00 X 5.31 (inches)
ISBN: 0310292034
ISBN-13: 9780310292036
Availability: Usually ships in 24-48 hours.

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Publisher's Description

When David Herrick receives an invitation to a reunion from a long-forgotten acquaintance, he reluctantly visits Headly Manor. When the friends gather, they no longer resemble the fresh-faced group of twenty years ago. This poignant and moving story blends Adrian Plass's rich style of writing with his knack for addressing the issues we all face---faith, grief, love … and fear.

Author Bio

Adrian Plass is one of today's most significant and successful Christian authors, and he has written over thirty books, including his latest, Looking Good Being Bad - the Subtle Art of Churchmanship. Known for his ability to evoke both tears and laughter for a purpose, Plass has been reaching the hearts of thousands for over fifteen years. He lives in Sussex, England with his wife, Bridget, and continues to be a cricket fanatic

ChristianBookPreviews

Silver Birches by acclaimed British author Adrian Plass is less of a story and more of a fictional memoir of David Herrick, a traveling Christian speaker. Having lost his wife to a devastating illness, David (in first-person narrative) brings the reader into the very soul of his grief, sharing his anger toward God. Plass describes David’s mourning in minute detail. David begs for one more touch from his beloved wife Jessica, one more conversation with her. He simply cannot accept her being gone forever, even though he knows she is with God.

A friend from twenty years past asks David to attend a weekend at an old castle-like house with some other friends to share their lives and feelings. David reluctantly attends and learns more that he expects. The friends are from a youth group at St. Mark’s Church, and they each bring their own emotional baggage. In fact, one of them, Andrew, leaves on Saturday morning, having felt insulted by an attendee named Mike the evening before. Then David learns that Jenny had been in love with him as a teenager, while Peter admits to David that he is a celibate homosexual. Angela discloses hatred for her ex-husband for leaving her, and Mike says that he doesn’t have “the Christian faith” shared by the others.

Although there is no direct biblical quote, references to Christ are running aspects of the book. A major theme is the philosophy that we must follow Jesus just as we are, not in ways that others may want us to be. At the end of the novel is a stunning letter written by David’s wife Jessica, right before her death, which is a perfect finale for this story. Beautifully written, with generous analogies and metaphors, this book is recommended for the Christian reader, men and women alike. – Anita Sue Tiemeyer, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com

Library Journal

Still grieving the loss of his wife, Jessica, David Herrick is not in the mood to attend a reunion of friends he has not seen in 20 years. But he agrees to go when one of his wife's best friends invites him. After all, Angela tells him that Jessica sent her something to give to David shortly before she died. Through faith and over time, David must learn how to live again. VERDICT British author Plass's (Bacon Sandwiches and Salvation) novel is a sensitive and intelligent study of grief and survival. With a balance of seriousness and a dose of bittersweet humor, this title is a gem.

Publisher's Weekly

Bestselling British author Plass (Bacon Sandwiches and Salvation) offers an intentionally offbeat story of bereaved widower David Herrick, who suffers intensely following the loss of his beloved wife, Jessica. Herrick, a popular Christian speaker, finds it sadly ironic that the very words and pat phrases he offers to listening audiences aren’t doing him much good in his personal sorrow. With the arrival of a letter and an invitation from an old friend, Herrick travels to a former haunted bed-and-breakfast and rejoins classmates from years earlier; during their gathering, they eventually expose their deepest longings and struggles. Keenly attentive to his own skewed view on life at present, Herrick finds himself strangely moved by his former friends’ individual plights and begins to glimpse small slivers of hope in the cracks of brokenness. No matter how he tries to shut out the divinely orchestrated lessons, Herrick finally surrenders and what he discovers surprises him most of all. Finely tuned and sensitively written, this moving story reminds readers that everyone bleeds the same on the inside. (June) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

Editorial Reviews

Bestselling British author Plass (Bacon Sandwiches and Salvation) offers an intentionally offbeat story of bereaved widower David Herrick, who suffers intensely following the loss of his beloved wife, Jessica. Herrick, a popular Christian speaker, finds it sadly ironic that the very words and pat phrases he offers to listening audiences aren’t doing him much good in his personal sorrow. With the arrival of a letter and an invitation from an old friend, Herrick travels to a former haunted bed-and-breakfast and rejoins classmates from years earlier; during their gathering, they eventually expose their deepest longings and struggles. Keenly attentive to his own skewed view on life at present, Herrick finds himself strangely moved by his former friends’ individual plights and begins to glimpse small slivers of hope in the cracks of brokenness. No matter how he tries to shut out the divinely orchestrated lessons, Herrick finally surrenders and what he discovers surprises him most of all. Finely tuned and sensitively written, this moving story reminds readers that everyone bleeds the same on the inside. (June)

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  1. RAnn
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    June 3, 2009
    RAnn
    I've read a lot of books that tell a good story, but books that are really well written,are few and far between. The main character in Silver Birches is David, a man in his late 30's/early 40's, who was recently widowed.He is evaluating what he wants to do with his life, and falling into depression when he gets a call from an old friend of his wife. The three of them had been in the same church youth group in their teens. Angela told him that his wife had given her something to give to him. She wanted to give it to him at her house, an old English manor, on a weekend attended by other friends from that youth group. He agrees to attend, as do several other people. The group gets together with the goal of telling the others their greatest fear. They eat, drink and talk. We learn about their hurts, fears, faith--and for some, lack thereof. That being said, this isn't the typical Christian novel. For one thing, I have read that some industry standards for Christian novels require that Christians do not drink alcohol. In this book they do, socially and without adverse effects. Also while the thread that holds these people together is membership in a church youth group, many of the stories told and issues addressed could be those of any group of almost middle-aged adults. I don't really want to give anything away (but this book is much more about the characters than the plot) but at the end one of the characters embraces traditional Christian sexual morality and rejects today's "if it is what I'm attracted to, it must be good". As I noted at the beginning, what struck me most about this book was the absolutely beautiful use of language. It is faith-based fiction and anyone who has been on one of those youth group weekend retreats with their Saturday night combination of sleep deprivation, prayer, candle or firelight and introspection will feel at home around the fire with this group. Just in case you haven't figured it out, I loved this book.
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