When David Herrick receives an invitation to a reunion from a long forgotten acquaintance, his first reaction is to refuse. After all, he hasn't seen Jenny, Peter or the others since they were all a part of the same youth group two decades ago. Moreover, he isn't feeling very sociable since his wife Jessica died six months ago. But the invitation comes from Angela, one of his wife's oldest friendsand mysteriously, she has something for him from his beloved Jessica. Reluctant but curious, he makes his plans to visit Headly ManorWhen the friends gather, they no longer resemble the fresh-faced group of twenty years ago. Each member bears the weight of their own burden. One has been deserted by her husband, another has lost his faith and another is filled with anger and bile. Life hasn't been the sugar-coated existence they might have hoped for. As they have less than forty-eight hours with each other, they decide to be vulnerable and share their greatest fears, Will they have the courage to bare their souls? And if they do, how will such revelations be received? Will they find a way to lift each other up or will their burdens be too much to bear? This poignant, moving and sometimes disturbing story blends Adrian Plass' rich style of humor with his knack for addressing the deep issues we all face, such as faith, grief, love
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
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 Davids 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. Marks 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 doesnt 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 Davids 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
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.
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 arent 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.