Once in a lifetime a magnificent novel is written that allows us to peer into the hearts of those around us and ourselves with such harsh clarity. This is one of those stories that will put a stranglehold on your mind until it is absorbed by your heart. This is an insightful and compelling story that will bring you to your knees in anguish, in anticipation, and in a longing to become the best of yourself for your sake as well as for those around you.
The characters in this story will make you laugh, cry, scream, and leave you begging for more. They are as complex as they come, but yet they are simple enough for anyone to understand, identify with, and love. This is one story where you will love the "bad guy". As strange as it sounds, you will cheer him on and demand that he do more. Yet, for the main female character, he will be both her savior and her tormentor. This is one story where the end will leave you with more questions than answers. However, questions are good for the soul. They force us to stop and take a closer look at decisions we make. Are we making choices that only benefit ourselves, or are we making choices that will help those around us more and in turn benefit us to a much greater degree by transforming us into a better version of ourselves?
No matter where you are when you begin reading this book, you will not be the same after you have finished it. You may not notice it at first, but it will make a home in your heart and begin to influence your thoughts, your questions, your decisions, and you. It will give you a broader view of the other humans you share this plant with. It will encourage you to look past yourself and straight into their eyes for a full view of their life, their heart, and how they are not much different then you.
To be honest, It's probably not really a wise thing for me to write this review, because I am unequivocably a "Dekkie"- translation- huge Ted Dekker fan right here. Ted is an author that never seems to tire of taking risks in his writing and I never tire of reading his books. "The Priest's Graveyard" is no exception. From page one I entered into "Ted Dekker land" a wonderful place where I become completely riveted to his story and don't want to quit reading until it is through.
This is a tale full of heartbreak, grief, and intense love. Danny Hansen is a man who has lived through horrific events at the hands of the Orthodox Christians in Bosnia. Leaving his past behind, he comes to America for a fresh start and at that time becomes a priest. With that fresh start our priest finds it necessary to mete out justice to the truly vile creatures of the world who have escaped true justice and Danny makes sure they received some of his own. He is a vigilante of sorts who proclaims judgment on those members of society that need it. Enter Renee Gilmore- a young beautiful girl with a past of her own- a former drug addict and down on her luck sort of girl. She finds her path crosses with Danny because they are both tracking the same man. Renee seeks to destroy this man because she believes he killed her former husband and Danny also seeks him because he believes him to be a vile member of society who needs justice to be served. They team up, and the story just heats up from there.
In true Ted Dekker fashion- there is a twist (or two) and at times your holding onto your seat for dear life. It is amazing how completely enthralled one becomes with these characters. Judgement, moral reasoning and ultimately how love and grace factor into all of it are all brought together in an amazing way. I raced through this book quickly as I really needed to know how it turned out. Yes there are some edgy parts to this book for sure, so be prepared, but it was really a wonderful read. Compelling, riveting and as always throught provoking. Once again Ted- Bravo!
I am rarely at a loss for words, but after finishing this book...I find it hard to describe the mix of emotions clamoring for attention. It is fascinating, raw, compelling, intense, creepy, but painfully honest. It shows the jagged edge of the human psyche that can easily slip into the dark side. The weakness of the human soul but strength of the spirit is glaringly displayed. It also demonstrates the power of love, however twisted it may appear. This has the makings of a bestseller!